DAVID THOMPSON has been warned he risks jeopardising his promising career unless he can control his temper.
Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier aimed an angry blast at the young midfielder after seeing him sent off for the second time this season while playing for the reserves on Tuesday.
Thompson faces spending up to six weeks on the sidelines if he lands a four-match ban from disciplinary chiefs after punching Leeds United star David Hopkin following an off the ball incident.
The 22-year-old could be missing between January 25 and March 11 - a spell which takes in games against Leeds, Arsenal, Leicester City and Manchester United.
He is also set to be disciplined by Houllier, who voiced his displeasure at Thompson following a face-to-face meeting at Melwood yesterday.
With injuries already affecting Liverpool's bid for the fourth-place finish they need to automatically qualify for Europe, Houllier admitted it was another ill-timed headache.
"He let himself down and the team down. It is awful really and he knows that I am not pleased with him," said the Frenchman, who has seen the England Under-21 international serve two suspensions this term.
"If he is a tennis player and argues with the referee or whatever then he is the only one to suffer, but football is a team game and it is the club and his team-mates who are suffering from his silly behaviour.
"At a time when we are competing for Europe we don't need that. We need him to be available. We need as many people as possible because we are a little short on personnel."
"I think players can confuse commitment with a selfish attitude sometimes and if he wants to make it at the top he has got to control himself."
"When you don't control yourself you cannot be tactically aware or team-minded."
"He is an improving player but he still has to learn."
"I am very angry."
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