Republic of Ireland striker Jon Walters will miss an important part of Stoke City's Premier League run in after his appeal against the red card he was shown in Saturday's game against Norwich City was rejected and a three-match ban for dangerous play imposed.
The 30-year-old was dismissed for a high challenge on Alexander Tettey shortly after scoring from the penalty spot and his manager, Mark Hughes, subsequently argued that both players had been equally culpable.
The appeals panel disagreed, however, and now Walters will be absent for league games against West Ham, Aston Villa and Hull City, two of which are level with his club on 31 points while the other, City, are just one point behind.
Stephen Ward says he unsure of whether he will stay on at Brighton and Hove Albion after a successful loan spell from League One side Wolves during which he has been playing regular first team football and won back his place in the Republic of Ireland team.
“I’ve got another year (at Wolves) so I’m a little bit in limbo at the moment,” says the 28-year-old Dubliner. “I’ve not really spoken to them. They are concentrating on getting promoted, which I think they will do the way they are going.
“I have really enjoyed it here and I’m open to anything but from now until the end of the season I just want to keep enjoying my football and hopefully help Brighton get into the (Championship) play-offs.”
Eunan O’Kane has committed his future to Bournemouth after establishing himself as a key player at the club by signing a new deal with the Championship outfit.
Former Dundalk player Daniel Kearns has signed for Chesterfield on an emergency loan that will run until April 14th. He joins a strong Irish contingent at the club, which is managed by former Sligo Rovers boss Paul Cook.
And 22-year-old goalkeeper Ian McLoughlin has also made an emergency loan move, in his case from MK Dons to Newport County.