Pompey boss bemoans ‘stupid’ rule

The Frenchman was booked for removing his shirt and, having already

been cautioned for a foul, was given his marching orders by referee

Steve Bennett after snatching a point at the Stadium of Light with

a 93rd-minute leveller. Grant said: “It’s a silly red card – it’s a

silly rule, it’s a stupid rule. If someone can explain this rule to

me… “What happens if someone takes their shirt off? Does it

damage someone, does it disturb someone, does it make someone

angry? “I think someone one day woke up in the morning at FIFA and

decided to change the rule. “A player scoring in the last minute,

of course you need to control yourself, but I don’t think even some

of the supporters could control themselves. “Everybody was happy,

everybody celebrated, so he took his shirt off. “He [Kaboul]

apologised, Not many times I understand, but in this case, I

understood. “You need to control yourself, but it’s not easy

sometimes. “All our bench celebrated and took their shirts off – if

you see the belly of the kitman…” Kaboul, who dismissively turned

down a proposed move to the Stadium of Light during Roy Keane’s

reign, struck three minutes into stoppage time after twice having

gone close in a late flurry by the visitors. He fired home from the

midst of a goalmouth scramble after the home defence had failed to

deal with Jamie O’Hara’s corner to spark wild celebrations on the

sidelines and among the small band of travelling supporters. Kaboul

responded by removing his shirt, and turned to find referee

Bennett, who had earlier booked him for a foul on Darren Bent,

waiting to issue him with a second yellow card and the inevitable

red. Sunderland were left kicking themselves after dominating a

game of indifferent quality for long periods, but failing to build

upon Bent’s 23rd-minute opener, his 10th goal of the season. Andy

Reid hit the bar with an 80th-minute free-kick and Kenwyne Jones

and Jordan Henderson had gone close before the break, and those

misses were to prove costly. Coming a week after a 2-0 victory over

Burnley, the draw increased optimism that bottom-of-the-table

Pompey can dig themselves out of a hole. Grant said: “Not many

times in my life have I been happy with a draw, but when you score

in the last minutes, even a draw is good. “I must say we deserved

it in the second half even if in the first half we didn’t play so

well.” Sunderland boss Steve Bruce was left to bemoan a series of

chances which went begging, and his side’s failure to deal with the

corner which led to Pompey’s equaliser. The Black Cats have now won

only one of their last seven Premier League games, and that has

dented their bid for a top-half finish. Bruce said: “To play here

in front of a big crowd, and expectant crowd, you have to have a

certain mentality. “We have got to be bigger than the expectation

and the groans because we didn’t get the second one. “We have got

to be able to take the ball and be confident, especially in the

Premier League. “The away results, of course, put you under a

little bit of pressure, but that’s football. That’s what it builds.

“I think they had one shot on goal before they scored – I don’t

know how many attempts on target we had, but certainly we had

enough to have killed the game off. “We go away and it feels like a

defeat for us, the players, the supporters, everybody concerned.

It’s one of those horrible ones.”