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Kitson needs more help from refs, says Oxford United boss
CHRIS Wilder admitted Dave Kitson has to be careful over his disciplinary record, but called for officials to give the striker more protection.
The 33-year-old has picked up seven yellow cards in 11 appearances – the most in the Football League this season, He was sent off for two cautions in the goalless draw against Exeter on Tuesday, so will miss the trip to AFC Wimbledon this weekend.
It is Kitson’s second suspension of the campaign, having already served a ban for reaching five bookings.
Wilder acknowledged the ex-Reading and Stoke City forward needs to watch out.
The United manager said: “Kits has got to be careful. He’s a sensible, bright boy, he will not need telling from me that he’s better out on the park than sat in the stand.”
While Kitson picked up a cheap booking for kicking the ball away against Accrington Stanley last Saturday, the U’s felt aggrieved by both his cautions against Exeter.
Referee Keith Stroud appeared to indicate the first yellow was for an accumulation of offences, but stats from the game show it was his first foul.
Wilder also believes across the season that Kitson has been on the receiving end of overly-physical treatment, drawing comparisons with James Constable in previous years.
He said: “It’s what happened to Beano in the Conference. He used to get absolutely smashed and then he would make one challenge and get booked.
“Dave Kitson (against Exeter) has been smashed – he got smashed at Portsmouth, and against Bury.
“There’s got to be a bit of sensible refereeing to say this is a physical game, this is a physical battle.”
Tom Newey thinks the former Premier League player is being singled out by defenders.
“He takes a lot of bumps and bruises,” the full back said.
“I suppose he’s a target for centre halves who want to leave a mark on him, and you just got a feeling the ref was waiting to send him off.
“It’s disappointing, but I’m afraid it’s something we’re going to have to live with, because he’s a big name at this level.”
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