Mansfield Town will not be appealing against on-loan striker James Alabi’s red card after just 31 minutes of his debut in Friday night’s 3-0 defeat at Southend United.
It means the 18-year-old must now sit out three games of his month on loan from Stoke City – and manager Paul Cox is waiting to speak to the Potters before deciding his next move with a youngster he rates highly.
Stags ended the night with nine men after Lee Beevers was also sent off, but Cox still believes Alabi was unlucky to be red-carded for his clumsy challenge on Luke Prosser.
He said: “I have taken a lot of advice and spoken to a lot of people in and around the FA. Even though they said it looked harsh, you have to prove the referee made a mistake and a lot of people in high-up positions said that would be hard.
“I feel for the kid as he looked as though he had a lot going for him in that first 15-20 minutes.
“He showed a lot of promise. We threw him in at the deep end on Friday night, having only trained with his team mates a couple of times.
“But he gave us a glimpse of how powerful he is and, if he had been a bit cleverer, he might have got a penalty early on when he burst into the box.
“I like the kid and think he is full of potential. But we have got to be respectful that he is a Stoke City player. Until I can gauge what they would like to do with the lad, we have to be careful.”
Now Cox will speak to Stoke and see what the best way forward is with Alabi or if he needs to be looking elsewhere.
Cox said: “I have tried to speak to Stoke again. We are going to have to get our heads together and decide the best scenario for both parties. Nothing has been agreed as yet so it’s all up in the air.
“It seems a bit harsh to say we need a replacement, but it has put us on the back foot with bringing in a centre forward then losing him for three weeks.
“I hope within the next two or three days I will have something positive.”