Milijas frustrated by ban

The 28-year-old Serbian was, harshly in the eyes of manager Mick McCarthy, sent off by referee Stuart Attwell for a challenge on Arsenal's Mikel Arteta on December 27 and subsequently lost an appeal, leaving him idle around the turn of the year.

Milijas told the club's official website, "It's the worst time for me because I was back in the team and had played three games, and now I am out again because I am banned."

Milijas' punishment has already seen him miss the trip to Bolton and Monday's home defeat by Chelsea, and he will also sit out the FA Cup third-round trip to Birmingham just when he felt he had established himself in the team.

He continued: "I felt I was putting in some good performances at a time it was important for the team. Now I have missed some big games for the club and maybe I would have been in the first XI if I had been available.

"All I can do is train and be ready and available for the Tottenham game. If I want to look positively on the ban, all three games are out of the way in one week because of how quickly the fixtures are at the moment.

"I just have to keep working and look forward to trying to get back in the team when the ban is over."

Even then, Milijas admits he will reflect on the first sending-off of his career with some bitterness.

He said: "Of course I am disappointed and frustrated. It's not my game to make strong tackles or go in on people.

"I went into the challenge to take the ball and I got the ball first. The referee made his decision and that's the end of it."

Source: PA

Source: PA