Mick left bemused by Ward red

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy admitted he was frustrated by the botched sending off of Stephen Ward during his side's 2-0 defeat by Liverpool at Anfield.

Ward had been booked in the 48th minute but looked to have avoided a 53rd minute dismissal when referee Andre Marriner showed a yellow card to Christophe Berra for a foul on Lucas Leiva when the Irish defender had clearly been involved in the incident.

McCarthy and Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez became embroiled in an argument on the touchline while the referee was alerted to his mistake by an assistant, but the whole affair left a sour taste in the mouth of the Wolves boss.

"I'm not convinced, I think it's a harsh sending-off," said McCarthy.

"They eventually got the right player but I don't think he fouled him.

"I just wonder if he had any assistance. I did not think that (fourth official) Phil Dowd knew who it was either, but people were in his ear about it.

"I don't know if Phil Dowd told the referee who it was. I wonder that if you can get assistance from the fourth official, maybe Ireland would still be in the World Cup!"

Speaking about the defeat which came via goals from Steven Gerrard and Yossi Benayoun, McCarthy added:"We weren't in any danger, we've been playing well and were catching them on the break from time to time.

"Maybe they got a break with a sending off that was a bit harsh and they've reduced a team that was expected to get beat here to 10 men, and they took advantage of it."

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