Steven Gerrard takes responsibility after Matty Cash booked for shirt message

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard has taken responsibility for Matty Cash’s yellow card after the defender revealed a message of support to a Polish team-mate in Ukraine after opening the scoring in the win at Brighton.

Cash broke the deadlock in a game delayed by half an hour as the Villa manager was hit in traffic.

He then removed his shirt to reveal a ‘stay strong’ message to Dynamo Kyiv defender Tomasz Kedziora, receiving a warning in the process.

Ollie Watkins then scored his first goal since December to cap off a 2-0 win for Villa as Brighton again failed to win at home.

After a lengthy social media post earlier today defending Poland’s decision not to play against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, Cash had a nice low finish on the post from 20 yards out. .

He then posted a message to Polish team-mate Kedziora and his family, who are stranded in the Ukrainian capital, picking up a booking for the gesture – for which his manager is blamed.

“I will take responsibility for Cashie’s yellow card,” he said.

“I should have spoken to the players before the game and told them: ‘If you score goals, stay calm’.

“We all have to respect the situation and I think that’s what Matty tried to do.

“But I will definitely take responsibility for it. There’s no blame on Matty. Everyone has different feelings. That’s on me.

The PA news agency understands that referee John Brooks’ booking came because Cash completely removed his shirt and not for showing a written message underneath, but Gerrard refused to criticize the official’s decision. .

“This yellow card is on us,” he added.

“There is certainly no finger pointing. There’s no blame on Cashie. I should have told all the players before the game and I didn’t, so I’m responsible for this yellow card.

“There’s certainly no blame on the player or the Premier League. It’s on me.

Gerrard had guided Villa to a 2-0 victory over Brighton in their first game in charge on December 20, but had seen his side win just one of the previous seven league games heading to the south coast.

The former England skipper wanted a win here to be ‘medicine’ for his side – and their league position certainly looks healthier after those three points.

“The important thing is to take the confidence and belief from today’s performance and build on that next week against Southampton,” he added.

“Preparations were difficult today with the accident on the highway but the players remained focused and calm. We can only control patience and concentration. The players put in a top performance.

Cash was not the only Poland international on the pitch, with Brighton head coach Graham Potter revealing that Jakub Moder also backed his national team’s decision earlier today.

Asked if he had spoken to the striker, Potter replied: “Not to me specifically, but he has mentioned it to our staff and is happy with the decision that has been made. Obviously, he shares the same concern that we all have.

Cash’s caution was one of nine bookings inflicted by Brooks – but Potter had no problem with officiating after watching Brighton slip to a third successive league defeat without scoring.

“Both teams were competitive, both teams wanted to win and lost previous matches,” he added.

“There was a desire there to compete and win, that was there from our lads and those at Aston Villa, so no problems (with the referee).”

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