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Hanley apologises to Blackburn Rovers fans for dismissal
BLACKBURN Rovers stand-in skipper Grant Hanley has apologised to his manager, team-mates and the club’s supporters for his sending off against Wigan.
The 21-year-old, captain in the absence of Scott Dann, was shown the first red card of his career after striking Latics forward Nick Powell in the face.
Rovers were leading at the time but, with just 10 men on the pitch, they eventually went down to a 2-1 defeat.
Realising the error of his ways Hanley was quick to say sorry to the people he had let down.
Rovers boss Gary Bowyer said: “Grant called me on Sunday night and asked if he could come in and see me on Monday morning.
“The rest of the lads were off but he was very keen to come in and he was very apologetic.
“He’s not meant to do what he’s done – he just went to shrug him off – but he accepts that you can’t raise your hands on a football pitch.
“He’s gutted for himself because he’s got a three-game ban and he could be out of the team longer because you’ve got Matt Kilgallon and Scott Dann to form a partnership, so he’s aware of the consequences of that.
“He’s also aware of the consequences of letting his team-mates down.
“But the biggest thing for him – and you have to remember he is only 21 – is his relationship with the fans.
“He has a special relationship with them and he was gutted to let them down as there were over 3,500 of them, which was a fantastic figure, so he has apologised via me to the supporters. It’s one of those things he’s got to learn from and live with.”
Hanley will be fined by the club and hit with a three-match ban.
That rules him out of the Championship clashes at home to Charlton on Saturday week, away to Blackpool on October 26 and at home to Middlesbrough on November 2.
Hanley made his apology before going on international duty with Scotland.
Bowyer said: “He wasn’t prompted. He put his hand up and admitted he made a mistake.
“Unfortunately it’s a costly one for us but there’s nobody in life who has never made a mistake.
“It was the first sending off of his career, the lad is very down and deeply upset, and rightly so.”
Rovers had 3,630 supporters at the DW Stadium on Sunday and Bowyer ensured all of his players went over to the away end after the last-gasp loss.
Bowyer added: “I think the amount of fans who stayed behind at the final whistle, even though we had lost, showed the appreciation they had for how hard the lads had worked.
“So I thought it was important to show our appreciation for the support they gave us.”
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