Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Managers unite in Probert criticism

Neil Warnock

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers and QPR boss Neil Warnock were critical of the performance of referee Lee Probert after watching their sides play out an entertaining 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium.

Danny Graham's first-half strike looked to have put the home side on their way to a fifth home win of the season, but Rs winger Jamie Mackie capitalised on Leon Britton's poor defensive header to slot home just before the hour mark and end the visitors' run of three straight defeats.

But Warnock felt his side would have taken all three points had Graham been penalised for handball in the build-up to his sixth strike of the campaign. He said: "I am absolutely pleased with how we reacted with going a goal down but I am disappointed not to get the three points."

Replays suggested the ball had made contact with the striker's hand as he controlled Wayne Routledge's cross before turning and firing beyond Paddy Kenny, with the QPR defence and Warnock furious that Probert allowed the goal to stand.

And Rodgers was also less than enamoured with the official's display after he waved away appeals for what appeared a clear penalty when Armand Traore felled Graham in the second half.

Warnock added: "We are very disappointed at their goal, as you would be. It's a deliberate handball, he gains an advantage and he wouldn't have scored otherwise. It was a certain handball, the referee said he saw the handball but that it was not deliberate, which disappoints me even more.

"It's the big decisions that you want referees to get right. I thought there were a number of mistakes but it's the match-winning ones you want them to get right. It was a kick in the teeth, it felt such an injustice at half-time but it spurred us on."

Rodgers was similarly scathing in his assessment of the decision that saw his side denied a spot-kick, branding Probert's display as "inconsistent".

"It was a clear penalty, I have had the chance to see it from a few angles and it was a definite penalty," he said. "We worked the space really well, Luke Moore got into a wonderful position, Nathan Dyer has done well, Danny has bent his run superbly, got a touch and Traore has made a foul. Normally with the referee so close that's a penalty.

"I thought it summed up Lee's performance which was interesting to say the least. He is a good lad on the circuit, trying to get experience, but he was very inconsistent right the way through, which did not help us."

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