JACK ROSS is considering an appeal against George Honeyman’s red card during this afternoon’s 1-1 draw at Wycombe Wanderers, with the Sunderland skipper’s dismissal potentially jeopardising his availability for the Checkatrade Trophy final at Wembley.

Honeyman was dismissed along with Wycombe’s Nathan Tyson after a brawl erupted between the two benches on the touchline at Adams Park.

Honeyman appeared to spark the incident when he attempted to return the ball on to the field quickly, only for a member of Wycombe’s backroom staff to prevent him from doing so. A bout of pushing and shoving ensued, with players and staff eventually spilling on to the pitch.

Referee Lee Swabey showed Honeyman a straight red card, and if he is found guilty of violent conduct, he is likely to receive a three-match ban.

That would keep him out of the league matches against Barnsley, Walsall and Fleetwood Town, but if the Fleetwood game is postponed because of international call-ups, he could miss the Checkatrade final against Portsmouth.

Ross admitted that the scenes on the touchline were “not good”, and having spoken to Swabey after the game, the Sunderland boss is currently mulling over his options.

Ross said: “We have to take responsibility for our behaviour, and so do Wycombe. Both technical areas have to take responsibility, and you can’t blame an official for that, but I thought the whole game had a lack of control over it.

“I can’t quite believe, after some of the additional time that’s been added this season, that there was only six minutes added today. The number of times the game was stopped was quite incredible.

“The game always had that little feel around it, but what happens at the end is not good. I have no issue with my players looking after each other and my staff looking after each other, but it has to be within reason. I haven’t watched it again, but we’ve got footage of it and we’ll watch it again.

“It’s something I need to look at. I honestly don’t know what went on. I saw a lot of people coming together, but I’m going to go and speak to the referee to get clarity on it.

“Once I have clarity on it, I can look at everything and assess whether or not it was justified. If it was justified, there’s nothing we can do about it. If it was not, we will look at it from there.”

A dramatic afternoon saw Sunderland claim a last-ditch leveller in stoppage time, with Duncan Watmore slamming home the rebound after Wycombe goalkeeper Ryan Allsop failed to hold on to Grant Leadbitter’s shot.

Watmore’s goal cancelled out Alex Samuel’s first-half strike, but there was more bad news for Sunderland in the closing stages as Watmore and Tom Flanagan both picked up injuries that prevented them from finishing the game.

Watmore suffered an ankle injury as he was fouled by Marcus Bean – the Wycombe midfielder was sent off as he picked up a second yellow card for the tackle – while Flanagan appeared to suffer concussion after he was kicked in the head.

As a result, both players are now major doubts for Tuesday’s trip to Barnsley, who have opened up a four-point advantage over Sunderland after winning this afternoon.

Ross said: “First of all, I’m really pleased for Duncan. We all know what he’s been through in the last couple of years. He’s come through another barrier with the goal in the Checkatrade, but to score in a league match, and score such an important goal, is another milestone for him.

“I wasn’t too enamoured with the tackle on him at the end, I thought it was a poor challenge. I thought it was a straight red rather than another yellow, and he’s a bit sore at the moment. But it’s his ankle. It’s a separate injury, although it’s still not brilliant for him after he’s had such a long time out.

“I’ve not spoken to any of the medical staff about Tom. It’s a head injury, but I’m not sure how he was on the pitch at the time. We have to assess that and look at it from the protocol side of things as well.”

Watmore’s goal ensured Sunderland maintained their record of scoring in every League One game this season, but Ross admits his players were not at their best as they struggled for long spells.

He said: “I try and remain fairly clear-headed through it all, but we didn’t play well today and I don’t want to take away from the fact that we weren’t good, particularly in the first half.

“There was nothing we didn’t expect in terms of how the game was played and what we would face, we just didn’t deal with it as well as we would have liked, and sometimes that happens.

“Individually, a lot of us were below par, and collectively we were as well. We did as much as we could in terms of personnel and shape changes, and I thought in the second half we had a bit more purpose about us, even though we still didn’t play that well.

“It just wasn’t a good day for us. So to then dig something out of the match is testament to the players again. There’s a strength of character not to be beat, and they’ve shown that time after time. It’s not an easy thing to do. They could easily have lost heart because of the way the game was going for us, but it was a good response from them in the end.”