UNDER-FIRE Livingston captain Jason Talbot was sent off an incredible five times in the space of just 36 matches for previous club Port Vale.
However, ex-Vale manager Martin Foyle insists the Lions skipper, who caught Hearts winger Sam Nicholson with a horror high-boot challenge, is not a malicious player.
The 29-year-old Englishman is the most red-carded player in the Stoke club’s history and Foyle was in charge of Vale for four of Talbot’s dismissals, with three of them coming in the space of just 14 games at the end of the 2006/07 season. “Jason was as honest as the day is long,” said Foyle. “There was not a bad bone in his body – he was just so committed and competitive. Yeah, he would put himself about and let the winger know he was there, but you wouldn’t catch him elbowing someone off the ball or spitting at people or anything like that.
“He generally just got sent off for mistimed tackles and being over-committed. I remember one of them, where he was just running up the line, overran the ball and ended up catching the boy coming the other way. It was a red card but there was nothing sinister in it. I don’t remember him being viewed as a hatchet man and I certainly didn’t ever feel he was going to cause me problems with his discipline.
“He was a very decent guy, absolutely fantastic. ”
Talbot was only cautioned for his offence in the defeat by Hearts, despite leaving Nicholson’s face covered in studmarks, though he may face further SFA action. Foyle is adamant his ex-player will not have meant to hurt his opponent. He said: “I played with players who would try to hurt others, but Jason definitely wasn’t one of those. He’d have been wholeheartedly going for the ball. He’s guilty of being over-committed, nothing more.”