Straight red sees Wanderers star on the outer ahead of historic finals run.
Western Sydney Wanderers said they will not contest the severity of Iacopo La Rocca’s suspension handed down for his elbow on Sydney FC midfielder Terry Antonis.
La Rocca was sent off in the 90th minute of an action-packed Sydney derby, after he elbowed Antonis in the face during a challenge for the ball.
The Italian left the field to cheers from some of his club’s supporters, while Antonis was only allowed back with his head heavily bandaged.
Wanderers FC coach Tony Popovic believed the punishment fit the crime and said La Rocca will simply have to sit out the four games.
“It was a clear red, a definite send-off,” Popovic conceded after the game.
“I don’t know what he’ll miss but a straight red normally is more than one week.”
Popovic said the side was putting the absence of La Rocca out of their minds ahead of the last regular season game of the season, when they take on the Newcastle Jets.
A win or a draw would wrap up the first Premier’s Plate in the club’s history, however, Popovic may consider resting players as several are battling to be fit for the game.
“We are assessing our players who are battling injuries and we will give them a few more sessions to prove their fitness for Friday,” Popovic told the club’s website.
“Some of them have made some progress, and we will continue to monitor them and give them every opportunity to play.
“However, we will only play players who are fully fit to take the pitch and we will not take any risks.”
Those racing the clock to be fit include Michael Beauchamp (quad), Adam D’Apuzzo (foot), Shinji Ono (groin), Jerome Polenz (quad) and Aaron Mooy (knee).