Belfast Telegraph

Friday 11 July 2014

Grant officially frustrated

Avram Grant

West Ham boss Avram Grant claims refereeing errors have cost his relegation-threatened team at least 10 points this season.

The Israeli believes teams will need 40 points or more to secure their top-flight status this year and while West Ham have reached 32 from 30 games their manager believes that total would be far healthier had they had better luck with referees.

He said: "I think we have suffered more than any other team because in the very deciding moments, as everyone has seen on the television, the decision was against us too many times. If the decision was right, we would have had at least 10 points more. But this is part of the game, sometimes there are decisions against you."

He added: "You can accept one decision that was for us, but most of the decisions were against us."

Speaking of Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson's comments that his side has suffered from poor decisions recently, Grant said: "Everybody understands what Alex said and what he spoke about in the last games. I don't know about Man United, I think about us. This is referees - sometimes they make mistakes."

Refereeing decisions have been increasingly scrutinised in recent times and both Ferguson and Grant have been reprimanded by the Football Association in the past month for comments about decisions.

Grant nevertheless does not believes refereeing standards are slipping and thinks mistakes are due to the changing nature of the game.

"I think if you look at games even five years ago and now - and I suggest to everybody that they look - the game is much quicker, more players are athletes," he said.

"Even if you look 10 years ago half of the players were athletes and half were technical.

"So the game has become more physical and more quick, and it is more difficult for the referees to take decisions."