Beano: It's time to help refs

The Oxford Times: James Constable (left) was sent off after a clash with Wimbledon's Will Antwi James Constable (left) was sent off after a clash with Wimbledon's Will Antwi

James Constable wants players to make it easier for referees to do their job after missing almost a month with a suspension.

The Oxford United striker returned from his four-game lay-off with a goal in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Burton Albion and is set to lead the line again at Southend United tomorrow.

‘Beano’ still feels hard done by over the ban, which came from a straight red card against AFC Wimbledon last month.

The 28-year-old was dismissed for elbowing Will Antwi, something the U’s front man disputes.

Earlier this month referees visited United’s training ground as part of an initaitive to improve understanding between players and officials.

After his recent experience, Constable feels players could do more.

He said: “We had a long chat with them and discussed that players aren’t making it easy for referees. “There’s been a lot of talk about diving and things like that, but as professionals we need to be helping them a lot more.

“I’m not a dirty player and I’ve never gone out there to hurt anybody. “To miss a month’s football because someone claimed that I deliberately tried to elbow someone, it does hurt you as a professional and is something I’d never do.”

Constable’s goal in midweek took his tally for United to 90 and moved him joint third in the club’s all-time scorers list with John Aldridge and Peter Foley.

The striker’s joy at reaching the figure was tempered by Burton’s equaliser and he is focused on helping the U’s bounce back tomorrow.

“It’s great company and I was delighted to get the goal, but it would have been even sweeter if we could have hung on for the three points,” he said.

“Southend is massive now, we were desperate to get three points against Burton, so now it’s even more important.”

Aldridge got in touch with Constable to congratulate him on reaching 90 goals.

Constable replied: “Thank you, it means a lot to be in such great company as yourself & Peter Foley on 90 goals, hopefully many more to come!”

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