Lee Tomlin and Anthony Pilkington, Cardiff City players who both turned down transfers to Championship clubs, found themselves in trouble with a match referee at under-23 level today.
Playmaker Tomlin was sent off after 26 minutes following his second booking, while Pilkington was cautioned once.
Bluebirds manager Neil Warnock revealed both turned down moved away from the club during the transfer window even though they are not in City’s Premier League 25-man squad and are not eligible to play at that level.
“They’re playing at Coventry with the Under-23s,” said Warnock, who included Tomlin and Pilkington as over-age players.
“They had options to go into the Championship, but turned those offers down, even though they can’t play for my first team.
“I was surprised they didn’t want to go and play first team football.”
Both are highly paid professionals who have no chance of playing League football until January at the earliest.
If they had gone out on loan Tomlin and Pilkington could have been playing at Championship level.
Matt Connolly also played against Coventry in the Professional Development League match at the Alan Higgs Centre, while Cameron Coxe returned from international during with the Wales under-21 team to start.
This was a sixth PDL under-23 match for Cardiff, but they were up against it after Tomlin’s dismissal midway through the first half.
Dexter Walters (39 mins), Billy Stedman (70) and Jack Burroughs (90) scored for Coventry, while Cardiff had a couple of good chances but failed to take them.
The next under-23 match for Cardiff is against Millwall at Cardiff International Sports Arena on Monday, September 24 (2pm).
Craig Bellamy’s Bluebirds’ under-18 team travel to play Bristol City on Saturday (September 15), while they entertain Crystal Palace at Cardiff ISA on Saturday, September 22 (11am).
Coach Bellamy and his players then face Watford at the same venue on Saturday, September 29 (11am).
Coventry City: Addai, Green, McCallum, Eccles, Ford, Williams, Stedman, Westbrooke, Bremang, Ngandu (Burroughs 75), Walters (Bosma 86). Subs not used: Bilson, Endall, Hunt.
Cardiff City: Warren Burwood, Cameron Coxe, Ciaron Brown (Tyrone Duffus 46), Daniel Martin, Matt Connolly, Paul McKay (Lloyd Humphries 72), Lee Tomlin, Anthony Pilkington, Laurence Wootton, Ibrahim Meite (Ryan Pryce 46), Jamie Veale. Subs not used: Matthew Hall (gk), Jack Bodenham.