“They all want celebrity status” – Neil Warnock blasts referee after late penalty


Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock has launched a scathing attack on referee Gavin Ward and his officials after the 2-1 loss to Swansea City.

Warnock’s team were on the wrong side of a number of contentious referee decisions, which sent the experienced manager into a furore at full-time.

A goal from Middlesbrough’s Marco Bola was ruled out for a potential foul in the box in the first half, before Swansea were awarded a penalty in the 97th minute, which Andre Ayew scored to give his side a late winner.

The Middlesbrough boss was speaking to Sky Sports after the game and didn’t hold much back in his assessment of the officials performance.

“I’m just disappointed. I thought the lads put in a really good shift, we played some good football and were best side on the pitch. I didn’t see them having many chances at all,” Warnock said.

“We’ve been let down by poor officials, nothing else. 10 minutes gone, [Ryan] Manning took [Anfernee] Dijksteel out, not one of four officials saw it, and it’s ended up with him coming off injured.

“He has deliberately kicked out at him and taken him down. Bola is a certain goal or a penalty to us. It’s a dive if anything from their lad. He gets the ball, Bolasie, it should be a penalty or a goal.”

‘My lads have been let down by a team of officials’

The long-serving manager put Swansea’s win totally down to the officiating team, and backed them for promotion to the Premier League based on the perceived favourable refereeing decisions they were given against Warnock’s side.

“How can I come on here now and not get fined? I’ve got to be careful, haven’t I? It’s the worst afternoon for many weeks and we have had a few of these recently,” Warnock explained.

“You saw the penalty the other night at Stoke, never a penalty in a million years and they won the game. So really, by that reckoning, they should get promotion if they keep getting the right referees.

“They are all heroes, they all want the celebrity status, don’t they? It’s wrong. My lads have been let down by a team of officials who weren’t good enough today.

“[Officiating boss] Alan Wiley has got a job on his hands, because they are not good enough, it’s not right. It shouldn’t be decided on an official.”

Middlesbrough remain in ninth place in the Championship table after the controversial 2-1 loss, while Swansea move up to third place in the table.

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