GEORGE Thomason does have disciplinary issues to address – but Ian Evatt maintains his midfielder has gained an unfair reputation in League One this season.

The 23-year-old has picked up 15 yellow cards in all competitions this term and was handed his first red card at Northampton Town on Saturday.

Wanderers launched an appeal with the Football Association and as The Bolton News went to press last night were waiting to hear if he would serve a three-game ban, starting with tonight’s match with Wycombe.

Evatt and his backroom staff were convinced Thomason’s challenge on full-back Aaron McGowan was not worth of a red card – a stance they say was also backed up by the fourth official.

But in a season where the midfielder has already missed a handful of games through suspensions, the Bolton boss conceded that there is work to be done to improve that side of his game.

“His disciplinary record this season isn’t great but there are some caveats to that,” he told The Bolton News. “Some of the yellow cards he has had have been incredibly harsh.

“Everyone who knows George as a lad, and you guys have got to know him personally a bit now, know there is no bad in him at all. He just wants to win.

“It is more excitement than anything else and it can be excitement more than anything else, putting a stamp on the game. On Saturday he wanted to make a challenge that would lift his team-mates.

“I still believe it is not a red card. And I would call it how it is.

“Regardless of him initially leaving the floor to stretch to get it, on point of contact there is one foot, it is facing downwards, he wins the ball and doesn’t make contact with the opponent.

“I thought the referee was extremely poor on Saturday, that was a poor decision.

“You can speak about reputations and there is clearly one forming now that George doesn’t like. We have had this conversation this morning and there is nobody more upset than him about that. Only he can change it. But he is in no way, shape or form a dirty player. He wants to play the game tough but fair and I think that is the right side of the line to be on.”

Evatt was also sent off at half time by referee Jeremy Simpson, with the official reason being “foul and abusive language” in the tunnel.

Wanderers also plan to contest that red card – feeling that the Carnforth official did not govern the game well.

“I don’t think his handling of anything was good on Saturday,” Evatt said.

“I am allowed to say how it is because we all get criticised for performances and referees are no different. He is human and people do have off days and make mistakes, I certainly do as a manager and the players certainly do. You can understand it.

“But I thought the tolerance level was different from one team to the other.

“Their manager was, at one stage, on the pitch, kicking and screaming, throwing his arms in the air. He got a warning.

“I articulated without shouting or swearing and he didn’t like what I said so I got sent off. Yeah, you see other managers in League One engaging on the halfway line post-game, ranting and raving with officials, but because they already have a reputation for that it is already forgiven.

“I don’t need to name names, but you all know who I’m talking about.

“There has to be consistency across the board and I don’t think it was consistent on Saturday, some of the fouls that were given were bad.

“I have a lot of respect for Howard Webb (head of referee’s body, the PGMOL), he has a tough job. The role of the referee is extremely topical at the moment and I don’t think we are getting it right.

“I know if there is one man who can get it right, it is Howard, so we have to trust him to do the right thing and hope we sort the refereeing out, top to bottom.”