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Heskey gets one match ban

Emile Heskey has received a further one match ban and been fined 5,000 after his guilty plea over a charge of improper conduct.

The charge relates back to the game with Arsenal, where he is alleged to have made gestures at referee Mike Riley and failed to leave the pitch in a timely manner following his sending off for two bookable offences.

After missing Tuesday's FA Cup replay with Reading, a game which Blues won 2-1, the ex-Liverpool and Leicester striker will also now also be unavailable for Monday's game at West Ham.

Manager Steve Bruce has slammed the decision, saying: "We are disappointed he has got more than a fine and a warning.

"I could understand Emile's frustration. He knows now he was wrong. He should have come off the pitch straight away. He understands that now.

"We are upset Emile has got another ban. Emile has got an impeccable record and we hoped that would have been taken into account."

After Heskey's recent goal drought, Bruce will welcome the chance to test a different strike partnership against the Hammers, with Mikael Forssell or DJ Campbell likely to partner Chris Sutton in attack - that is, if Sutton recovers from a groin strain in time.

The previous front two of Heskey and Sutton have not looked like producing too many goals between them, and the midfield have seemingly been unable to capitalise on the space created for them by the big men up top.

Bruce will be therefore be likely to partner a target man in Sutton with a smaller, faster striker in either Forssell or Campbell - a tactic recently extolled by Tottenham boss Martin Jol.

Bruce, of course, also has the option of partnering Sutton with attacking midfielder Jiri Jarosik sitting just behind, as recently seen in Tuesday's cup game.

However, as Forssell was suffering from a slight knock in that game and Campbell was cup-tied after former club Brentford's FA Cup exploits, including knocking out Sunderland, it is likely that one of the two will partner the ex-Celtic man in Monday's televised game at Upton Park.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 10 2006

Time: 5:36PM


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