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Page last updated at 10:32 GMT, Monday, 12 April 2010 11:32 UK

Hartlepool director of sport Turner protests innocence

Gary Liddle
Liddle should have missed Pools' 2-0 loss at Brighton through suspension

Hartlepool boss Chris Turner is adamant the club are innocent regarding their Football Association charge for fielding an ineligible player.

Midfielder Gary Liddle featured in Pools' 2-0 defeat of Brighton on Easter Monday when he should have served the first of a two-match suspension.

"I believe we are innocent and three or four different things have conspired to the situation," Turner told BBC Tees.

"The FA, so I am led to believe, are understanding about it."

Liddle, who has also been charged, collected his 10th yellow card in the previous game at Leyton Orient two days earlier, both he and the club have until 26 April to respond to the FA.

"He'll miss the Stockport game, and he'll be available for the Colchester game," Turner added.

"We found out Tuesday morning, but that's all I'm saying, we've got an FA inquiry.

"The bottom line is, what manager or coach in the world would select a player to play in a team, if he knew he wasn't allowed to play? That's less than Sunday league stuff."

Brighton boss Gus Poyet insisted that his side should be awarded the points rather than see Hartlepool deducted the points themselves, should that be the Football Association's course of action.


He told BBC Sussex: "You should get the three points without any complaints or any panel. It looks like here in England it's different. I'm really surprised.

"It's not about what the player did. The player was on the pitch, he shouldn't be there. It's a mistake.

"I had it clear in my mind it was three points for us. I don't what they're going to say, I don't know what excuse they going to put. I don't know what rule they're going to use. It's embarrassing.

"We shouldn't appeal to anywhere. It should be clear. A suspended player shouldn't be on the pitch. You lose the game.

"If Blackburn played an ineligible player against Manchester United this weekend, are you telling me they wouldn't give the three points to Sir Alex Ferguson? They would. There shouldn't be a difference because this is a bad precedent. It has to be clear.

"The rule, if you read it, is very open and it gives plenty of the options to the Football League. It shouldn't be. If a player shouldn't be there you should lose the game and three points to the opposition - simple.

"We need to be clear here. The opposite team should get the three points, and that's it. If they want to impose a fine or do something else, it's their problem.

"In terms of points they are not fair with us. We want to play 46 games and we play 45. We shouldn't play the game again."

Hartlepool currently sit four points above the League One relegation zone in 17th place.

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