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Referees have to help themselves – Forest’s Steve Cooper frustrated by decisions

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 Oct 2023

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Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper felt it was another bad day for the Professional Game Match Officials Limited after some controversial decisions in his side’s 1-1 draw with Brentford.

The PGMOL were forced to stand intended fourth official Darren England down at the City Ground after his mistake on Saturday night when, as VAR in Tottenham’s game against Liverpool, he failed to act properly in overturning the decision to rule out Luis Diaz’s goal for offside.

And both managers were left complaining after the draw as Nicolas Dominguez’s header cancelled out Christian Norgaard’s opener, which came immediately after Moussa Niakhate was sent off.

That is the decision that irked Cooper the most, the boss insisting that his defender’s tackle, where he raked his studs down Yoane Wissa’s calf, was accidental.

Cooper said: “Honestly, if he doesn’t give him a second yellow, nobody mentions it. All of your colleagues on TV and radio have said the same.

“With it being the only Premier League game of the day, the PGMOL needed a real clean day and unfortunately they have got the opposite. We want to help referees, we will moan and complain as much as anyone else, it is just the nature of it.

“We’ll try and do it respectfully, but sometimes it’s hard. They have got to help themselves. I’m annoyed with the first yellow, he shouldn’t have lunged in. The second yellow would not even have been mentioned…of course it was accidental.

“You need football understanding to see that. It’s a contact game.

“Some have gone for us, so I’m not sitting here saying we’re hard done by. We all want refereeing to be at the right level and we all want to help them and they have to help themselves. The last thing they needed today was talking points about decision-making, but that’s what they’ve got.

“Come on, let’s work together and we will help. Some things have gone in our favour, not as much as have gone against us. This league is amazing and every part of it needs to be at that level.”

Brentford boss Thomas Frank says he is “tired” of talking about VAR after he thought his side were denied a clear penalty.

Frank believes Wissa was fouled by Matt Turner early in the second half when he closed down the Forest goalkeeper and was caught by Turner’s follow through, while Brentford also had two penalty appeals turned down.

Referee Paul Tierney did not give anything and the incident was not even checked by VAR Michael Oliver.

“I am tired of talking about it, I understand you guys need to ask the question,” he said.

“I just want to talk about performances.

“I think the two handball situations, some managers would claim them as penalty, I won’t. I think I would really hate that if they were given against my team.

“But the Wissa one is a clear penalty, you can’t go through the man, that is an unfortunate mistake from VAR, especially when that is clear and obvious.

“Unfortunately our players are too honest, we need to be a little bit more nasty, I would never say that to the players, I like honest players.”

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