Boreham Wood v Harrogate Town: Warren Burrell itching to get back after ban

Warren Burrell has missed Harrogate Town's last three games through suspension. Picture: Matt KirkhamWarren Burrell has missed Harrogate Town's last three games through suspension. Picture: Matt Kirkham
Warren Burrell has missed Harrogate Town's last three games through suspension. Picture: Matt Kirkham | other
Warren Burrell admits that he is itching to get back out on the pitch following an enforced spell on the sidelines.

The versatile 29-year-old has missed Harrogate Town’s previous three matches through suspension having been controversially sent off in last month’s 2-2 draw with FC Halifax Town.

And, with a return to action away at Boreham Wood this Saturday a possibility now that he is available for selection once more, Burrell is keen to put the frustration of his ban behind him.

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“It’s been very frustrating and I’m just looking forward to getting back now,” he said.

“I missed one match through concussion not so long ago, however I’ve played pretty much every game for Harrogate Town in recent years, so I haven’t really known what to do with myself while sitting out three on the spin.

“I like to still be involved and around the lads on matchdays even when I can’t play. You want to encourage and support your team-mates and feel as much of a part of it as you can. But once they go out on the pitch there’s nothing you can do to help.

“I’m not the worst when it comes to sitting in the stands and watching but I haven’t enjoyed it. If things are going wrong, you want to help rectify them because we are all in it together.

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“Like I say, it’s been very frustrating for me but there was nothing I could do about the situation, so now we just move on.”

Burrell’s ban was a result of him being shown a straight red card by referee Simon Mather after he caught Liam Nolan with a high boot in the closing stages of the National League derby clash with the Shaymen on November 26.

Having reviewed video footage of the incident, Town boss Simon Weaver described the dismissal as “shocking” and insisted that it “had to be rescinded.”

The club launched an appeal against the sending off and sent the FA a substantial dossier of evidence, including video footage that shows Burrell to be looking at the ball and unaware of the presence of Nolan, who approached from behind.

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An FA panel did however decide to uphold the original decision, meaning that Burrell missed the 3-1 reverse at Sutton United as well as home victories over Torquay and Hartlepool.

“When he initially sent me off I thought it was for a second yellow and I couldn’t believe it. I thought that a yellow was really harsh, so when I realised that it was a straight red I was in complete shock,” Burrell added.

“When you look back at the footage and take into account the fact that my eyes are on the ball and that their player comes from behind me and ducks his head, I think it’s harsh.

“We were pretty confident about the appeal, however I guess that they [the FA] like to stick with the referee’s original decision.”

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Although he has missed Town’s last three matches, Burrell has been working hard on the training pitch and insists he is raring to go whenever called upon.

“I’m quite a fit guy anyway but I’ve been doing a lot more running to make sure I stay in the best shape I can,” he said.

“I’m ready to go.”

With the hectic festive schedule just around the corner, Burrell knows that a crucial stage of the season is almost upon him and his team-mates, but is adamant that their focus cannot extend any further than this weekend’s trip to Boreham Wood.

“It’s a massive cliche, but we just have to take it one match at a time,” he added.

“Boreham Wood are a good team, so we can only think about that game for now.

“You can’t be setting yourself targets for the Christmas period, it is only the next game that is important.”