Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has drafted in World Cup final referee Howard Webb in a bid to rein in his repeat offenders.
Lee Cattermole picked up the 10th red card of Bruce's tenure in Saturday's 2-2 Premier League draw with Birmingham. Sunderland have collected more than 90 cautions under Bruce, driving the manager to turn to Webb for help.
The 39-year-old Yorkshireman, who produced 14 yellow cards and one red during Spain's World Cup final victory over the Dutch, spoke to the players after training yesterday.
Bruce said: "We have had 10 red cards now since I have been here. If my maths are right, that adds up to every four games we are having somebody sent off, which is ludicrous and we shoot ourselves in the foot with it. It's hard enough to win a Premier League game, let alone with all these stupid and avoidable red cards we are picking up.
"So we have had Howard here today giving a talk to the players. When you get somebody of Howard's calibre coming up and giving his time, the players will listen and hopefully take advice and learn from it."
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies