Belfast Telegraph

Moyes hopes for strong referee

David Moyes hopes Everton's chances of victory in the Merseyside derby against Liverpool on Sunday will not be unduly affected by refereeing decisions.

The Toffees boss was furious after last season's home defeat by their city rivals when Jack Rodwell was sent off for a tackle on Luis Suarez, a decision that was later rescinded. Everton have already been dealt a blow with the absence of key midfielder Steven Pienaar, who was shown a red card in last weekend's 1-1 draw at QPR and serves a one-match ban.

The South African's second yellow card for a foul on Jose Bosingwa also earned Moyes' wrath, and he feels Everton have been on the wrong end of a number of decisions so far this season. The Scot said: "It was a ludicrous decision, it really was. The boy kicked Steven Pienaar and Steven Pienaar got punished for it."

He added: "And not even to get a phone call to say sorry, you find that hard as well. But it's happened and we move on.

"We could have had a couple of goals against Newcastle, the first goal at Wigan was offside and then the decision last weekend. And you go back to last year's derby where it was a terrible decision to send Jack Rodwell off.

"We've still not had an apology from either the referee or the head of the referees' authority regarding that incident but there you go. That one's well gone and I shouldn't even be talking about it."

Andre Marriner will oversee this weekend's match, and Moyes believes officials need to be stronger when confronted with players who go to ground easily. He said: "We've got to be careful. People are going to turn away from football if they continue to go to watch people who throw themselves on the ground when they're not touched.

"I think it's important you do get someone who's strong enough to identify what are the right challenges and the wrong ones, and in last year's game we got really badly done by a terrible refereeing decision."

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, speaking ahead of what will be his first Merseyside derby, added: "I have seen it over the years - the real firecrackers of games, full of intensity and passion, which they should be because that is what derbies are about.

"But it is also important to stay calm, and I think the referee has a big part to play in it as well because I have also seen over the games some of the challenges. I think the history of this game shows there have been a lot of red cards. I would hope this weekend that we might get a decision that goes our way for once."

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