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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 March, 2005, 17:53 GMT
Prutton handed 10-game ban by FA
Southampton midfielder David Prutton manhandles referee Alan Wiley
Southampton midfielder David Prutton has been banned for 10 matches and fined 6,000 after admitting two charges of improper conduct.

Prutton was sent off in the 1-1 draw against Arsenal last Saturday but his reaction led to his heavy punishment.

He pushed referee Alan Wiley and tried to confront the assistant referee.

The 23-year-old admitted a charge of failure to leave the field promptly and one of threatening words and/or behaviour towards a match official.

Prutton, who had already apologised publicly for his actions and to Arsenal's Robert Pires who was injured in the initial tackle, described the ban as "hefty" but accepted the sentence.

"It's a massive disappointment because all I want to do is play football," he said.

"But I put myself in that position and I have to accept it and it's something I have to get on with.

"I regretted it as soon as I did it, when I was sitting in the dressing room afterwards.

"I regret the fact I let my team-mates down and also my manager, by portraying an image of myself that is not me. Hopefully people who watch football will never follow that."

Prutton was only pulled away from the confrontation when manager Harry Redknapp raced down the touchline to help physio Jim Joyce and coach Denis Rofe shepherd the enraged Prutton away from referee's assistant Paul Norman.

Redknapp ruled out an appeal against the suspension.

"There's nothing we can do and there's no point in appealing - he'll take his punishment," Redknapp told BBC Five Live.

"He had no grounds for arguing and is sorry for the way he reacted. He didn't set a good example to anyone.

"We'll obviously miss him he's a big loss on the pitch. He's played every match for me since I came here but we'll just have to move on."

Prutton served the automatic one-match suspension for the sending-off in the 3-1 FA Cup win over Brentford.

He will be eligible to return to action for the last match of the Premiership season, unless Saints can beat Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and maintain their progress in the tournament.

Prutton's ban is one match less than that handed to Paolo Di Canio after he pushed Paul Alcock to the ground while playing for Sheffield Wednesday in January 1999.




WATCH AND LISTEN
News conference: Southampton's David Prutton


Interview: Southampton boss Harry Redknapp





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