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Albion full-back crisis eases as Calderon in clear for Rams test
ALBION’S full-back crisis for Derby County’s visit tomorrow has eased after winning their battle to get red-carded Inigo Calderon off the hook.
The Seagulls successfully appealed to the FA against Calderon’s controversial dismissal in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup exit against Newport County at The Amex. The Spaniard, originally facing an automatic three-match suspension for a challenge which left Byron Anthony with a double leg break, is now available for Derby’s visit, the trip to Birmingham on August 17 and the home game against Burnley a week later. Calderon’s reprieve is a big relief for Oscar Garcia.
The head coach was heading into the Derby clash without a recognised senior full-back in the absence also of Bruno for several weeks following the hamstring injury he suffered towards the end of last Saturday’s opening Championship defeat at Leeds United.
Calderon was sent-off by referee Brendan Malone midway through the second half, with Albion leading 1-0. The decision proved pivotal, underdogs Newport recovering to go through 3-1 after-extra-time.
Replays showed Calderon attempted to kick the ball when he made contact with Anthony in a 50-50 challenge and was then trying to leap out of the way of the sliding Newport defender.
A relieved Calderon said: “It wasn’t just about being cleared to play in the games, it was also about people knowing that I did not try and hurt anyone in anyway.
“I am very pleased that the FA have recognised this and agree that it was nothing more than a horrible accident.”
Oscar told The Argus: “It’s justice, because we saw live that it was a 50-50 challenge.
“He wanted to touch the ball, not to injure the player.”
Calderon is likely to continue at left-back against Derby, with David Lopez deployed again as an emergency right-back.
Summer signing Adam Chicksen (ankle) has yet to resume full training with the rest of the squad and Oscar has also revealed Albion have injury worries in midfield.
Andrea Orlandi and Andrew Crofts were both ruled out of the squad for the Newport match with knee problems.
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