Preston boss Simon Grayson slammed Jermaine Beckford and Eoin Doyle for their “absolute childish behaviour” after the North End team-mates were sent off following an angry exchange with each other in the defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.
Grayson also promised disciplinary action against the pair for the ‘embarrassing’ episode which took place in stoppage time at Hillsborough, where Preston slumped to a 2-1 defeat.
A fuming Grayson admitted he had never seen anything like it in his career as the two experienced forwards had to be separated by colleagues and opponents before referee Scott Duncan issued both with straight red cards.
Grayson said: “In 30 years of being a footballer, player or manager, I’ve never seen an incident like that between two team-mates.
“I thought I’d seen it all at the Forest game last night but today has been an embarrassment with those players.”
The Preston boss was especially angry as he felt his side were looking good for an equaliser at the very least, having seen Doyle halve Wednesday’s two-goal lead with eight minutes remaining.
Wednesday were also playing with a man less after first-half goalscorer Fernando Forestieri had been sent off in the 65th minute.
Grayson added: “Absolute childish behaviour from the pair of them has cost us ultimately a point out of this game, potentially three, because at 2-1, 11 against 10, it looked like we were going to get something out of the game.
“They’ve let a lot of people down. Those players will be reprimanded regardless because they’ve cost us an opportunity to get something out of today’s game and potentially a three-match ban for both of them.
“I think the decision-making from the team, right from the start to the end, was poor. The decisions right the way through the team has cost us today.”
Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal, meanwhile, was delighted with the way his side overcame several setbacks in the match to claim a hard-fought victory.
Forestieri opened the scoring for the hosts early on but was then dismissed midway through the second half for an off-the-ball incident which Carvalhal said he “didn’t see”.
Despite that blow, and the loss of Ross Wallace and Glenn Loovens to injury in the first half, Wednesday still managed to make it 2-0 when Steven Fletcher netted from the spot in the 79th minute.
And, even though Doyle pulled a goal back to set up a tense finish, the Owls held on for the points.
Carvalhal said: “Pre-match we talked about how this Preston team is, an organised team and very tough to play against. The last three away games they won at Norwich and drew at Brighton and so on.
“We prepared, I think, very well for the game. The first minutes we pressed a lot, when we achieved the goal, I think we deserved it. After this, (Wallace and Loovens’ injuries) we must change a few players. But the players that we decided on did well.”
Carvalhal was also full of praise for his side following Forestieri’s red card, saying: “Our team showed how much they wanted to win and the quality of the group. They did fantastic team work.
“We had to concentrate with nine-and-a-half players, because (unused substitute Will) Buckley was just a body there, he couldn’t move too much.”