Alex Neil calls for some ref justice in Norwich City’s Premier League relegation scrap
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil insists Norwich City deserve a break or two from the Premier League refereeing fraternity over the survival run-in.
The Canaries slipped to a controversial 2-1 defeat against Chelsea in midweek with the Blues' match-winner Diego Costa clearly in an offside position before lifting the ball over the advancing John Ruddy.
Neil made his point to referee Lee Mason and his two assistants at the interval, in what has become a common theme since the opening weekend of the campaign when Cameron Jerome had a goal disallowed for 'dangerous play' in defeat to Crystal Palace. The Scot was also unhappy with Kevin Friend's recent performance in Tottenham's 3-0 Premier League win at Carrow Road, when Neil felt Spurs were awarded soft penalty for Seb Bassong's foul on Dele Alli.
'I am not going to say we would be in this position if it wasn't for some of the decisions of the officials. We are in this position because we have not won enough games. simple as that,' he said. 'You would like to think we will get one or two of those in our favour over the run-in, however, because we certainly haven't had them so far but hopefully it can happen in the last 10 games. It has cost us on a few occasions, going right back to Cameron's goal disallowed against Crystal Palace.'
Neil revealed a telling reaction of Mason at half-time against Chelsea.
'Me jumping up and down is not going to make the decision right. I just made the referee aware at half-time he had made an error that has cost us in a crucial part of the game. I could see the disappointment in his face when I said it to him,' he said. 'It is an honest mistake but it doesn't help our cause. We get a match delegate contact us after every game to see what our feelings are and how we felt the officials performed. They have procedures in place but it is plain human error.
'You could say the same about players. Why do they make mistakes? We don't want them to but it is a guy making a decision and sometimes you get them wrong.'
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