Hull City star opens up on threat of suspension and admiration for referee Rebecca Welch

The Tigers star is one booking away from a two-game suspension.
In-form Hull City player Jacob Greaves claims that sitting on nine bookings has actually helped him improve his game, as he risks a suspension.

The Tigers defender has nine bookings since his warning against Sheffield Wednesday on New Year’s Day, and one more before the completion of the Leicester game on March 9 would result in a two-game suspension, which is the punishment for receiving ten yellow cards before the finish of the 37th encounter.

Greaves, who will make his 31st City appearance of the season on Saturday against Huddersfield Town, believes he has adapted his game to avoid receiving a tenth warning, which has been beneficial to his development.
Since missing the draw with Plymouth Argyle on September 30 due to five yellow cards in the opening eight games of the season, Greaves has only had three cautions in the 22 games since and believes his game has improved as a result of the fear of suspension.

“Yes, a little bit,” Greaves told Hull Live when asked if he had to change his game. “I would probably say I’m a little more cautious when it comes to speaking to the ref, not that I speak to them in a bad way, but just in case I get a booking for asking for something because, you know, if you ask for someone to be carded or anything like that these days, you get booked yourself or kicking the ball away, so I’ve just got to be extra careful.”

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“There was a moment in the game (at Rotherham) where Rocky (Ryan Allso) gave me the ball and we were 2-1 up, and it was the 95th minute, and I thought this ref could book me here for time-wasting, so I threw it back and he knew himself. The ref (Leigh Doughty), said, ‘you don’t want to get another booking’ and it’s just trying to be careful.

“If I get booked, I get booked. I might have to take one for the team or whatever, I’m not afraid to do that, but I’ve definitely tried to be more careful and when I’m going into tackles, just try to be a lot neater. But then I think on the other hand of trying to not get booked, I’ve probably been staying on my feet a bit more, talking a lot more, which I think has probably helped me as well.

“I think I look back at my nine bookings and I’ve had some ridiculous ones, really. I’ve been booked for all sorts, and it’s been frustrating, but it’s something that I’ve got to learn from. I wasn’t even really aware of the (five-booking) rule. I’ve never even thought about it until I actually got suspended for the Plymouth game, which was really frustrating to miss that game, but it is what it is, they’re the rules and you’ve got to abide by them. I’m just trying to stay as clean as possible.”

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The 23-year-old has also spoken of his admiration for referee Rebecca Welch. The official will take charge of this weekend’s game at the John Smith’s Stadium in what will be her second City outing of the campaign having already overseen the 4-1 win over Rotherham at the end of November.

“She’s probably the best ref that we’ve had all season in terms of her aura, the way where she spoke,” he said. “I feel like I have a good rapport with a lot of the officials, but she was fantastic on the night, which maybe helped that we won.

“She’s been a wonderful referee, and the way she spoke to us and carried herself on the pitch was refreshing, and maybe that will continue come Saturday. In the game, she was fairly willing to conversing with you, in the tunnel at

Halftime, you’d have a quick conversation with her; she was cordial, and you could get along with her; it was just like speaking with one of your teammates. She was friendly and a competent referee.

“You get different references, different personalities; it’s like working in a different environment; everyone is unique. You may get along with some refs but not with others. I appear to have a nice relationship with many of them. They all seem reasonable to me, but she was perhaps the best we’ve had this season in terms of the actual decisions she made.”

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