Fry boils over at suspension saga

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The Independent Online
Birmingham City will be without three defenders through suspension for their Coca-Cola Cup semi-final first leg with Leeds United. Their captain, Liam Daish, has joined his fellow centre-back, Andy Edwards, and the full-back Gary Poole on the sidelines for the St Andrews encounter on 11 February.

Daish has received a two-match ban after topping 21 disciplinary points. City's manager, Barry Fry, who is set to recall the former Leeds defender Chris Whyte from a loan spell at West Ham, said: "I think we will be lucky to keep the score down to 6-0. It's an absolutely incredible situation. We are being punished effectively for our success in the cup competitions this season.

"We've played about a dozen games more than anybody else in the country and that obviously means there is more chance of picking up bookings. I think suspensions should be decided on a pro-rata basis, taking into account how many games your club has played. I also think reserve-team bookings shouldn't count at first-team level."

The Croatian international defender, Slaven Bilic, should today be cleared to play for West Ham in Saturday's home game against Nottingham Forest. The granting of Bilic's work permit will see the completition of his pounds 1.65m move from the German club, Karlsruhe. The Hammers are, however, still awaiting clearance for the Romanian international, Ilie Dumitrescu, who was signed from Tottenham for pounds 1.5m last week.

Roger Stanislaus , the Leyton Orient defender, today answers a Football Association misconduct charge after becoming the first player in England to test positive for a performance-enhancing drug immediately after a match. Stanislaus, 27, has been suspended from the Third Division club pending the hearing, which could result in a lengthy ban. The former Arsenal apprentice was found to have traces of cocaine following a urine test after a 3-0 defeat at Barnet in November.

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