Albion hit by suspension for Quashie

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The Independent Online

The West Bromwich Albion midfielder Nigel Quashie has been given a further one-game suspension after admitting a Football Association charge of misconduct. Quashie already had to serve a four-match ban for his red card against Middlesbrough at The Hawthorns nine days ago, his second dismissal of the campaign.

But the further ban, plus a £5,000 fine, results from him using abusive and insulting words towards a match official before he headed to the dressing rooms.

Bryan Robson's £1.2m signing from Southampton in January will now be out of action until the derby fixture against Aston Villa on April 9. Quashie was banned for Saturday's clash with Chelsea and will miss the matches against Birmingham, Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool.

An FA disciplinary commission at Soho Square decided on the punishment at a hearing after Quashie admitted the charge. The player's problems began when he kicked Middlesbrough midfielder George Boateng in the back and was given a straight red card by referee Mike Dean. His previous dismissal this season had been as a Southampton player against Hull.

Quashie has already apologised to his team-mates and it will be a harsh lesson for the Scottish international and a big blow to Albion's survival hopes.

Robson said: "After the Middlesbrough game, Nigel apologised to all the staff and all the players and I said to him: 'You can't have bad discipline when things are going against you on the pitch.'It is not necessarily the game where you are down to 10 men but the ban he has got on top of that."

Quashie's extra suspension was expected, with Birmingham striker Emile Heskey having received the same punishment after his reaction to a red card against Arsenal last month.

Meanwhile, Zoltan Gera is confident of playing some part in West Brom's battle to stay in the Premiership after making his latest comeback from injury.

The Hungary captain played the opening 45 minutes of Tuesday's reserve game with Bolton - his first action since the FA Cup tie against Reading in January. Gera played a major role in keeping the Baggies in the top flight last season but a series of setbacks has meant his contribution has been minimal this term.

Hernia, hand and, most recently, pelvic problems have made it a frustrating time for the 26-year-old and he is unlikely to be ready for Saturday's meeting with Birmingham.

He said: "I am happy because I played again on Tuesday. This is my third week of training and I still need a lot more before I'm ready. Once my form and fitness is better then hopefully I'll be ready because I want to play this season. I've missed pretty much five months."

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