Stoke City: Dave Kemp welcomes Steven Nzonzi red card appeal success
STOKE assistant boss Dave Kemp says Steven Nzonzi's red-card reprieve is fantastic news for the Potters.
Nzonzi was facing a three-game ban after he was sent off for an alleged stamp on Southampton's Jack Cork last Saturday.
However, an FA panel yesterday upheld Stoke's appeal and agreed the midfielder was not guilty of serious foul play.
Referee Mark Clattenburg red-carded Nzonzi after 71 minutes of the 3-3 draw, but Stoke had argued the midfielder was trying to avoid Cork and hadn't made contact with him.
****Best Deals**** Van Insurance for 17-24 Yr Old Drivers - Contact Insure365 on 01782 898188 for a quotation, Free Legal Protection Included Valued at £25.00!
Terms: 1 Voucher Per Customer
Contact: 01782 898188
Valid until: Tuesday, June 25 2013
Kemp said: "It is fantastic. We are delighted because Steven is an important player for us.
"We were always hopeful because we didn't see it as a sending-off in the first place, but we are still grateful that the right decision has been made."
The dismissal made life difficult for City against the Saints, although they still came back from 3-2 down with 10 men to share the points.
Kemp said there is no point dwelling any longer on Clattenburg's decision.
He said: "People do make mistakes, but we've got the right result in the end."
Nzonzi is an early favourite to be Stoke's player of the season after his outstanding performances since joining the club in a £3m move from Blackburn on August's transfer deadline day.
He has started Stoke's last 17 matches but, had the appeal been thrown out, he would have missed Saturday's FA Cup third-round tie at Crystal Palace and the Premier League games at home to Chelsea and away to Swansea City.
Kemp said the 24-year-old has impressed on and off the pitch.
He said: "He's a very influential player for us. He's quickly become an important member of the team and very popular with supporters.
"He's been first class off the field as well. He keeps himself to himself, but is a very good professional."
Meanwhile the Stoke assistant boss doesn't expect any hangover from Tuesday's defeat at Manchester City when the Potters take on Crystal Palace.
Stoke were well beaten 3-0 by the champions, but that was the first defeat in 11 league games.
Kemp added: "It was a very disappointing performance and result, but we will get these disappointments during a season.
"We have to put that behind us. That was the end of our 10-game unbeaten run, but let's try to start another run."
Stoke are likely to make changes at Selhurst Park, although they will still field a strong team as they look to continue their excellent recent record in the competition.
City have reached at least the quarter-final stage in each of the last three seasons, a run which includes the 2011 final.
Kemp isn't looking beyond Saturday's game at the Championship promotion chasers, but added: "We've done well in the cup in recent years.
"As usual, a lot depends on the luck of the draw, but we will be giving it our best shot."
STOKE'S FA Youth Cup fourth-round tie at home to Huddersfield Town will take place at the Britannia Stadium on January 16 (7pm).