GUS Poyet thought Chester referee Mike Jones and his officials could have handled Sunderland’s game against Aston Villa much better than they did.
The head coach was disappointed with a host of decisions made yesterday and, at one point during the second half, after the Uruguayan applauded the referee ironically, Jones called a halt to proceedings to warn Poyet about his behaviour.
That would have come as little surprise to the Sunderland boss, who felt play was stopped at the drop of a hat in a game the Black Cats were desperate to see flow.
“I thought the referee was poor,” said a frank Poyet afterwards.
“He didn’t let us play when we needed to play and he stopped the game so many times – the only thing he didn’t do was make a phone call!”
Poyet, though, was particularly disappointed to see a linesman’s flag rule out what looked like a legitimate equaliser from Emanuele Giaccherini early in the second period – a “goal” which could easily have completely changed the game.
“The linesman?” he sighed.
“Well, it should normally be very difficult for a person 40 or 50 yards away from the action to see an offside against a 5ft 6in player hidden behind a 6ft 2in defender.
“I think he saw a movement of the hand ahead of the defender, or something – I don’t know how he gave it, normally those would go for you, on this occasion it has gone against us.
“So that’s our excuse for the day – if you are looking for an excuse for us, you could put that in.”
Poyet was not looking for excuses, though.
Although he thought the officials poor, he thought his own players were poorer.
“We were all over the place for long spells,” he confessed.
“We weren’t organised enough and we didn’t play as a team – that’s what’s disappointing.
“And we need to sort it out – we have to have more quality at this level.
“We have to be better.
“I’m fed up, but I have to try to stop this sort of thing happening to us.”