Ainsworth urges players to keep tackling

Bucks Free Press: Josh Scowen is known for his no-nonsense tackling Josh Scowen is known for his no-nonsense tackling

GARETH Ainsworth has told his players to keep flying into tackles even though they have the worst disciplinary record in League Two.

Their six red cards and 54 yellows mean they’re out on their own in terms of ill-discipline this season, with Josh Scowen the latest to receive his marching orders last weekend.

In the immediate aftermath Ainsworth described Scowen’s actions as ‘reckless and immature’ - but while he still thinks Scowen was wrong, he also believes referees are looking out for him.

And he also believes the five yellow card rule is flawed and should be updated.

Ainsworth said: “I think Josh gets booked because he’s wholehearted and puts tackles in.

“I also think referees target Josh a little bit because he’s had so many bookings.

“I don’t know if he becomes renowned for getting yellow cards and then referees automatically think, ‘He always gets booked so I can book him as well’.

“If you look back at your Robbie Savages and people like that, they always stood out and I think Josh does stand out for his tackling.

“I’m not saying for one second none of his bookings haven’t been deserved, but maybe I have to lower Josh’s profile.

“But I still want him to put tackles in because he’s a fantastic tackler and it’s a big asset to his game.”

He does admit the midfielder was in the wrong against Scunthorpe though.

He said: “There was a little foul before the incident with Josh – how often do we see that, where people take the law into their own hands and dive in?

“I think that’s what Josh has done. I definitely will have a go at him for that one. I’m disappointed with him on that one – there’s an issue I have to address.

“We have an in-house fine system, which we won’t disclose. The lads don’t get away with it. We’ll be talking about that and deciding what to do with Josh Scowen.

“It’s difficult on a tackle because he’s just trying to win the ball. If there’s blatant abuse or dissent or something outrageous, obviously I’ll come down on that like a ton of bricks.”

However, Ainsworth suggests that yellow cards are too quickly brandished and in the modern game five bookings are too few to warrant a ban.

He said: “Ten years ago Josh probably wouldn’t be getting suspended because you couldn’t get booked so easily. Now you seem to get booked for everything, and that’s for every player.

“It’s so easy to pick up a booking, maybe the rules could change so it’s more games for a suspension. You get suspended after five games and ten games – I think it should be seven, 14, 21 or something if I'm being honest, but that's one for me to talk to the Football League about.”


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