Delap - Stoke were unlucky
Stoke midfielder insists Whitehead's second booking was harsh
By Rachel Griffiths. Last Updated: March 22, 2010 12:51pm
Whitehead: Sent off against Spurs
Stoke midfielder Rory Delap says referee Mike Dean apologised for sending off defender Andy Wilkinson, then did the same thing to colleague Dean Whitehead.
"It was a possible booking, but if anything is possible at the moment, it is going to get given against us."
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Dean booked Wilkinson twice during Stoke's visit to Portsmouth in February, the last City match to be overseen by the official ahead of Saturday's clash against Tottenham.
Wilkinson's second yellow card seemed harsh, but the 10-man Stoke side recovered to triumph 2-1 at Fratton Park.
City were less fortunate against Spurs, however, when Dean's second yellow card for Whitehead, on 49 minutes, left them unable to avoid a 2-1 home defeat.
Whitehead is the third Stoke player to be sent off by Dean this season after Abdoulaye Faye was also given his marching orders at Hull in November.
Delap admits Whitehead was unlucky, but did not go as far to say Dean was making decisions based on City's reputation rather than their matchday displays.
"You would have to ask him that," Delap told This Is Staffordshire.
"This is the third player this season, but he apologised to Andy Wilkinson for the sending-off at Portsmouth, which was good of him.
"But hopefully he can leave our games now until the end of the season.
"Deano swung for the ball, missed it and Luka Modric more or less ran into him. It was a possible booking, but if anything is possible at the moment, it is going to get given against us."
Stoke can draw some comfort from the fact they produced a battling display after being reduced to 10 men only three minutes after Eidur Gudjohnsen posted the game opener for Spurs.
City fought back to equalise with a Matthew Etherington penalty on 64 minutes, and almost secured the lead with a Ricardo Fuller strike before Niko Kranjcar closed out Spurs' win in the 77th minute.
"We went behind to a sloppy goal, but came back again, but we can't keep having men sent off and try to hold on for half an hour," added Delap.
"It is a good result for anyone to come and win here, because we don't make it easy for anyone.
"Even with 10 men, we didn't make it easy for Tottenham, but fair play to them for coming and taking the points. We battled, but were lacking that bit of quality."