The margins are fine at the bottom of the Premier League table, and Burnley boss Sean Dyche knows how close his men were to at least a point in Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Leeds United.
He blames an inexperienced referee amongst other things.
Leeds was awarded a controversial penalty after Nick Pope fouled Patrick Bamford and had a goal taken away by the too-quick whistle of referee Robert Jones when Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier was given a free kick after taking out Ben Mee before Ashley Barnes deposited the rebound.
Dyche, well, he tried to be respectful as he went off on everyone from Jones to the referee assignors to VAR to the Premier League itself.
“When you do speak to referees, and it is difficult because they have just finished and it is emotional side of it,” Dyche said, via Lancs.Live. “They were perfectly civil, as was I, but I am incredibly frustrated today. I think Popey has got the ball, I am amazed but not amazed, because I know there are more penalties. I have no clue on Ben Mee how the referee doesn’t give himself five or six seconds, see Barnesy smash it in the goal. The keeper comes through him, knees him in the back and somehow it is a free kick. It is an impossibility. I think that is where VAR has to step in and over-rule the referee”
Dyche also said that Jones’ wrongly thought he did a good job on the day and that Burnley matches deserve top referees more often, as points are as important at the bottom of the table as the top.
“I always feel why don’t we get the big referees? We are working to get more points on the table and it seems vital to have these games refereed properly,” later adding that, “If the referee is suggesting, as he did to me, that he felt he had a decent game today, then that needs to be fed back. That is for the powers that be. I would like to think that games that are important when you are fighting at the bottom end, like at the top end, then you get your fair share of top referees. There is no point (in taking the complaint further). We are told to give feedback, which I did today. I feedback to the PGMOL, I feed back to the Premier League, they always ask for feedback and not a lot is changing We are in an awkward situation because then with the media you can bring the game into disrepute, which is bizarre, when you see how much cheating there is in the game. I think I have said enough on that.”
Tell us how you really feel. Burnley has a league-worst eight goals this season and sits just two points above 18th-place Fulham with a match-in-hand.