Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Refs must get it right - Carrick

Michael Carrick

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has urged officials to get the big decisions right in important matches.

Sir Alex Ferguson heaped the responsibility for United's 2-1 defeat by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge onto the shoulders of referee Martin Atkinson.

Carrick backed up his boss and said: "Some decisions didn't go our way and we're on the end of a defeat, which is very hard to take. You have to get big decisions right in games of that importance."

Ferguson was critical of Atkinson over his failure to send David Luiz off for tripping Wayne Rooney immediately before awarding Chelsea their match-winning penalty for a debatable Chris Smalling foul on Yuri Zhirkov.

Although the United boss might have kept his counsel and reflected on the changing fortunes of a game that should have left him playing with just 10 men at Wigan three days earlier, Ferguson opted to let fly with both barrels.

"You want a fair referee, or a strong referee anyway - and we didn't get that," he said.

"I must say, when I saw who the referee was I feared it. I feared the worst."

Given the United boss already has the remaining two matches of a four-game touchline ban hanging over him following scathing comments about Alan Wiley's fitness last season, a further spell in the stands appears inevitable if misconduct is proved.

The FA have until 6pm on Thursday to charge Ferguson, although that may just fuel a sense of injustice at Old Trafford ahead of what is now a vital trip to Liverpool on Sunday when far more than local pride will be at stake.