Danny Mills has revealed his shock that Tom Lawrence has escaped a diving ban and is free to face Leeds United in the play-off semi-final.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former United defender insisted Lawrence should have been slapped with a retrospective two-match suspension just like Leeds striker Patrick Bamford.
The FA has ruled out taking action against the Wales international over a second-half incident which earned Derby a penalty from referee Tim Robinson in Sunday’s game at Pride Park, when Lawrence went down under a challenge from West Brom defender Kyle Bartley.
Frank Lampard’s side were 2-1 up at the time and sealed a 3-1 victory through Harry Wilson’s 73rd-minute spot-kick.
Mills was in no doubt that Lawrence deceived Robinson into awarding a penalty in just the same way as Bamford had deceived the referee in Leeds’ explosive clash against Aston Villa a week earlier into sending off Anwar El Ghazi.
“It is somewhat odd that Derby went crazy about Spygate when no rules were broken and it was just unsporting,” Mills said. “Tom Lawrence dived at the weekend but they are quite happy to take that. These are huge double standards. The pot is calling the kettle black.
“What Patrick Bamford did was embarrassing and absolutely appalling. It was only correct and proper he was banned. Diving is unsporting as well, and Tom Lawrence should be suspended for two games. I don’t see the difference.
“What Bamford did looks a lot worse, but in terms of the outcome of the match, what Lawrence did is just as bad. He dived to win a penalty. In my view, both should be treated the same and I’m stunned they haven’t been.”
Winger Lawrence has been a key figure for Derby this season, scoring seven goals and supplying four assists from 36 matches in all competitions.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that Burnley have set their sights on a Whites ace as contract talks are set to begin.