| 13.8°C Dublin

Warnock slams ref as Dunne own goal gifts QPR point

If you want to get a measure of just how angry Neil Warnock was with the performance of referee Michael Oliver yesterday, then the fact he insisted on giving two television interviews to Sky Sports might give you an idea.

In the first, Warnock was angry. By the second, having seen the replays, he was livid. By the time he came to speak to the newspapers an hour after the end of the game, the Queens Park Rangers manager had only just started to calm down.

His team only got their equaliser in stoppage-time, an own goal by Richard Dunne, having been denied a penalty of their own by what their manager called an "embarrassing" decision by Oliver.

Rangers dominated the first half, in which Alex McLeish admitted his team were "insipid". Having told them so at half-time, the Villa manager saw his team take the lead with Barry Bannan's penalty before the hour, its award the first of a series of borderline decisions by Oliver that transformed the match.

After Armand Traore was sent off for two bookings, the first of which was given for the foul on Gabriel Agbonlahor for the penalty, Warnock had to shepherd his players away from the referee on the pitch at the end of the game.


For the penalty, there was evidence that Traore grabbed the Villa striker's shirt but it still looked like a harsh decision.

As far as an FA charge goes, Warnock sailed closest to the wind in his initial, expansively voiced televised criticism of Oliver -- the youngest Premier League ref at 26 -- for the penalty given against Traore.

"Traore's penalty, come on, I've never seen anything like that," Warnock said. "He (Traore) blows on him. He (Oliver) wants to give the penalty and it's wrong."

Warnock was also indignant about Oliver's decision not to give two penalties for hand-ball incidents involving full-back Alan Hutton in the second half; in particular, the first from a Shaun Derry header on 71 minutes.

"How has the linesman not seen that?" Warnock asked. "He deliberately hand-balls it. And the second one, we're told that if you raise your hands it's a hand-ball. He's raised his hands against Tommy Smith. But the first one is embarrassing. How that cannot be given a penalty -- he can't even say he's in a bad position."

If Warnock was hard on Oliver he was even harder on Traore, who was sent off for a silly lunge on substitute Marc Albrighton in the 90th minute.

Warnock stopped the player from going down the tunnel to admonish him on the touchline in full view of the whole stadium, later calling him a "disgrace". (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent