SUNDERLAND'S bid to have George Honeyman's red card overturned has been dismissed by the Football Association, but the team captain can play at Wembley later this month.

While Honeyman was set to miss tomorrow’s League One promotion tussle with Barnsley anyway with concussion, the Black Cats have learned attempts to have his three-match ban quashed have been unsuccessful.

But Sunderland have confirmed that he can play in the Checkatrade Trophy final against Portsmouth on March 31 after EFL clarified rules stating that the ban only includes league games. He will also miss games with Walsall and Accrington.

Honeyman tried to prevent the Wycombe bench holding onto the ball in the dying seconds of Saturday’s 1-1 draw.

That sparked a bout of pushing and shoving that eventually resulted in him being sent off along with Wycombe midfielder Nathan Tyson.

A tempestuous game also saw Wycombe’s Marcus Bean dismissed for a foul on Duncnan Watmore that has left him with an ankle injury that will be scanned to determine the extent of the problem.

Referee Lee Swabey is believed to have included all the flashpoints in a written report to the FA, and both clubs are likely to receive a disrepute charge. But, after watching footage, Ross felt Honeyman should have his card rescinded.

“We will go down the appeal process anyway,” Ross told the media at his press conference earlier this afternoon .

“I accepted the behaviour of the technical area wasn’t appropriate.

“There is a balance of what people are red carded for, there are other circumstances around it. George would have missed tomorrow’s game anyway with concussion and we will be respectful of what decision is made. We will get that this afternoon.”

Earlier in the season Sunderland had a couple of situations where they had a player suspended and they could not play in Checkatrade Trophy games, even though the actual suspension didn’t include that competition.

Other clubs have also complained against that situation, so Sunderland also sought a definitive from the EFL to see if things had changed. They have been told Honeyman’s red card does not mean he misses the final.

Ross said: “We had a couple of issues earlier in the season regard with how it is viewed, other clubs as well. It highlighted some anomalies in the set-up of the competition.”

Sunderland head to second place Barnsley tomorrow night feeling the effects of Saturday’s dramatic draw, but Ross is still excited.

He said: “We have Chris Maguire who remains out with a leg fracture, both George Honeyman and Tom Flanagan suffered concussion, so would be missing anyway. Duncan Watmore will have a scan this afternoon to reveal the full extent. Reece James has an injury too and won’t be available.

“Barnsley have been consistent. It is about how we need to keep pace with the rest. Everything has been must win, I have never regarded any game as anything else. If you don’t you get criticised. Where they are in league doesn’t change our approach, every game is a must win.

“It will be a different game because they will play in a different manner, very much set out to win the game. A lot of times this season we have been at our best in these games, we thrive on a good atmosphere, it will be different.

“We didn’t play well on Saturday but we had played well in a number games before. I am balanced, over the last six games we have played well in four or five and not well in one. We have more chance of playing at those levels than how we did Saturday.”