Friday 20 July 2018

Mark Hughes feels officials 'missed quite a lot' in Stoke's defeat to West Brom

Mark Hughes, pictured, was not happy with the display of referee Michael Oliver
Mark Hughes, pictured, was not happy with the display of referee Michael Oliver

Stoke boss Mark Hughes questioned the decision-making of referee Michael Oliver and his officials after the Potters were reduced to nine men in their 1-0 home loss to West Brom.

Ibrahim Afellay was the first player dismissed, sent off in the 25th minute after he was brought down by Craig Gardner. Touched on the face by his hand, Afellay reacted by flicking his own hand into the face of Gardner, with Oliver then showing a red card to the former and a yellow to the latter.

Six minutes later, Charlie Adam was also the recipient of a straight red card having floored Craig Dawson with a challenge before appearing to stand on his leg, right in front of the assistant referee.

Hughes, whose side remain without a Barclays Premier League win this season, said after the match: "With the first red card, it is that old thing, the letter of the law - if you raise your hands, then you have to go.

"But if that is the case, both the players should have gone, because Afellay would not have reacted how he did unless something had gone on, and having seen the replay, Gardner has scraped his face - that is why he reacted as he did.

"So they missed that, but the officials missed quite a lot today, to be perfectly honest.

"With the second one, Charlie has gone over to try to block a ball into our box, the lad (Dawson) has wrapped his legs around Charlie and I think at one point kicked him up the backside. So Charlie is unbalanced and has come down and stepped on his leg.

"Whether it is deliberate, you will have to ask Charlie because I haven't spoken to him about it. But at that point, I think common sense should have prevailed.

"The referee should have just taken a big, deep breath and thought about the game itself and all the people here hoping to see a good football match."

Hughes said he was proud of his team for managing thereafter to make it a competitive contest, during which they conceded in first-half stoppage time when Albion record signing Salomon Rondon headed past Jack Butland.

And asked if he had spoken to Oliver, Hughes added: "It is a waste of time because it doesn't affect the result.

"It doesn't matter what kind of individual you are - if you have something in the back of your mind subconsciously, sometimes it jumps from the back to the front of your mind.

"So it is really not worth the effort to try to question referees, although you are probably seeing me do that.

"We'll look at it (the Adam incident) again, but you very rarely have any traction when you appeal things because they have to back the referees unfortunately."

West Brom boss Tony Pulis, who was making his first return to the Britannia Stadium since his second spell as Stoke manager ended in 2013, was delighted Albion had secured their maiden Premier League victory of the campaign but admitted they had made harder work of their task after the red cards than he would have hoped.

And regarding the rapturous welcome he received from Stoke supporters before the game, he said: "It was a wonderful reception.

"Peter (Coates, the Stoke chairman) paid me to do a job and I did that, and the respect I got today was just special.

"They are a special lot, it is a special club and it will always be close to me and the family. We spent a lot of time here."

Press Association

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