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By ESPN Staff

Sunderland officially appeal Turner sending off

Sunderland have appealed against the red card handed out to Michael Turner at Manchester City on Saturday.

Turner was dismissed after catching Gareth Barry in the face with an elbow during an aerial duel in the latter stages of the Black Cats 4-3 defeat.

Manager Steve Bruce branded Andre Marriner's decision as ''a joke'' and indicated Sunderland would challenge the punishment, which if confirmed, would bring an automatic three-match ban.

The FA have confirmed the appeal has been lodged and the case will now be assessed to decide whether Turner has a case.

Not that Bruce was holding out much hope in the immediate aftermath of the incident, having revealed he complained about Marriner's performance during a recent encounter with West Ham, when the West Midlands official sent off Kenwyne Jones.

''Because I have complained about him, I get that decision,'' outlined Bruce. ''I hope he can have a look at it and he can see it was a shuddering challenge between two of the most honest professionals you are going to get.

''Michael Turner got higher. That is the only reason he has caught Gareth Barry. You have got to raise your elbows when you are jumping for a ball. I might as well tell my centre-half not to head it next week because he might sent off.

''I hope the referee looks at it again. I doubt it though.''

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