Ref wait didn’t cool Ollie down

Keith Southern protests his innocence next to a prone Jack Wilshere

Keith Southern protests his innocence next to a prone Jack Wilshere

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A BAFFLED Ian Holloway refused to speak to the media for almost an hour after the defeat by Arsenal because he wanted answers from the officials first.

The Seasiders boss felt his team should have been awarded two penalties and was angry that Arsenal’s third goal wasn’t ruled out for offside.

Managers aren’t allowed to speak to referees for a 45-minute “cooling-off period” after a game. Holloway was eventually allowed to see Lee Mason as well as fourth official Mark Halsey and referees’ boss Mike Riley, and they discussed the decisions which swung the game in Arsenal’s favour.

But Holloway wasn’t exactly satisfied with the answers he got and renewed his calls for officials to have access to TV replays to help make key decisions.

He said: “Am I any wiser after I saw the ref? Yes, but I don’t agree with him. By the letter of the law they probably got it right regarding Arsenal’s goal but whoever invented that ‘not interfering with play’ rule should be shot at dawn.

“How Robin van Persie is not gaining an advantage by standing where he was when (Theo) Walcott was played through I just do not know. How is that not the same move? On top of that, I thought there was two penalties for us not given, one a handball and the other an absolutely blatant foul on Gary Taylor-Fletcher.

“Both those incidents happened during the same period of the game and the referee’s decisions might have made a huge difference to our season, let alone just the game.

“We had momentum and it was going our way. We were forcing the issue, and if we’d got a penalty decision at that point who knows what would have happened because I thought Arsenal were wobbling.”

While replays suggest Pool may not have deserved the penalty for the handball, there can be little doubt a spot-kick should have been awarded when Taylor-Fletcher was clearly upended following a clumsy challenge by Laurent Koscielny.

Holloway’s men have suffered from contentious penalty decisions in games against all the top teams, with Manchester United and Chelsea also getting the benefit of the doubt on their visits to Bloomfield Road.

When it was suggested to Holloway that the big clubs get the majority of the decisions, he said: “I had a little word about that to the officials.

“But my issue – and I’ve said this before – is that we wouldn’t have this problem if the refs could see what we see.

“Lee Mason is a good referee. He gave us a penalty at Newcastle and he gave us a penalty against Sunderland for a foul on David Vaughan which probably wasn’t a foul.

“But I would just like to see a period when they get them right. I’m sick of saying this, but all they have to do is get the fourth official to watch a delayed monitor to see whether a decision is right or not because those were two blatant penalties we should have had yesterday.

“It is so frustrating. I think this division is big enough to tell Mr Blatter and whoever else is in charge that it doesn’t matter whether you get technology through all the leagues.

“We just need to have it at this level.

“People throughout the game are losing respect for referees, even at Sunday League level, by seeing them get things wrong every week.

“But we only know that because we see replays that the referees don’t and they need to start getting help on that front.

“I think we have to be strong and tell Mr Blatter we want to trial it in this country.

“Why don’t they let us lead the way? Then maybe France wouldn’t have gone to the last World Cup finals unfairly after that handball against Ireland.

“We’ve got the technology, so why pay five or six humans who can’t be everywhere all the time?

“But maybe I’m just Ian Holloway who doesn’t know what he is on about and is barking up the wrong tree again, but I am just sick and fed up of being a little club and seeing these things happen.”