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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 April, 2005, 12:46 GMT 13:46 UK
Bowyer charged as Dyer ban stands
Lee Bowyer in his ripped shirt after his fight with Dyer
Newcastle midfielder Lee Bowyer has been charged with violent conduct by the Football Association.

He was sent off in Saturday's game with Aston Villa for brawling with team-mate Kieron Dyer - whose appeal against his own red card was rejected by the FA.

Bowyer, 28, will serve a four-match ban and Dyer, 26, misses three games, ruling both out of the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United.

Bowyer has until 20 April to respond to the FA, which could increase his ban.

But he is unlikely to contest the charge after Newcastle boss Graeme Souness publicly backed Dyer - who was also sent off for fighting.

"I've been reassured by Dyer he did not throw any punches, but Bowyer is indefensible and he has to accept whatever punishment comes his way," Souness said on Saturday after the match.

Bowyer's suspension - which is a match longer than Dyer's as he was also sent off earlier this season at Liverpool - rules him out of the Premiership trips to Tottenham, Norwich and Manchester United.

Dyer will be available again for the league visit to United.

We certainly considered sacking Bowyer
Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd

Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd has said the club considered sacking Bowyer for gross misconduct in the aftermath of the fight.

Shepherd said the midfielder should "go down on his hands and knees" to thank the club for keeping him.

"We certainly considered sacking him. We could have done, it was gross misconduct, but we thought a fine and a final warning was fitting," he added.

But Shepherd stopped short of saying he regretted bringing ex-England star Bowyer to St James' Park in July 2003.

However, he said: "It was the right thing to do for the club at the time but hindsight is a great management tool."

The player was fined a club record six weeks' wages, thought to be about 200,000.

Bowyer and Dyer apologised straight after the match and shook hands in front of television cameras on Monday

Dyer's run of good form for Newcastle attracted the attentions of England and Sven-Goran Eriksson played him as a substitute in the recent World Cup qualifiers against Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan.

But doubts about his temperament have now resurfaced and he told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "I thought I had done the hard part in winning the fans over.

"I have put in a lot of hard work to do that and I've been really concentrating on keeping my head down and staying out of trouble.

"I've been enjoying making headlines for my football."

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