Joey that was a match that seemed to turn on the red card 15 minutes in, have you been able to see it back?
Yeah, I’ve watched it back four or five times. Linesman gives the red card and obviously the referee is in charge.
You can just see it from the angle that it’s at, there’s a coming together in the build up to the throw in. I think he stands on Sam’s toe or something like that and it just plays out.
Sam then runs alongside him, they go shoulder to shoulder and the lad dives on the floor and makes out like he’s been headbutted.
The linesman is the backside of it. Sam has his back to the linesman. He’s then called the ref over and says he’s headbutted him and he’s dismissed for violent conduct.
We’re chasing our tail a bit then and then to compound it if you watch their first goal. Harry Anderson wins the ball but he gives a free kick and they score off the free-kick.
So disappointing. They’re third in the table for a reason. Port Vale is a good side. It also helps when you get the officials decision helping you out and it makes it really difficult for us.
Go in two-nil down at half time. Made a little tactical tweek and I thought we had an excellent second half with ten men.
We pushed and we fought, but going down to ten men was just too much of a handicap for 75 minutes.
So, disappointed for the lads but I thought we were really good second half in the face of adversity.
But we’ve got to not allow the referee’s to make those types of decisions and we’ve got to be a bit more streetwise.
Dealing with red cards, any complaints about the second one?
No. I think the ball bounces and Cian hesitates and he’s clearly last man. If you don’t get the ball and you make contact with the player as the last man, you know you’re going to be dismissed from the field.
So, no complaints with that but certainly lots of complaints with the first one.
You talk about streetwise, is it asking your players to not put themselves in that position, is that what you have to do, be whiter than white?
I don’t know. I think that’s our seventh red card of the season.
That’s far too many in 20-odd games and we need to tighten that up because you can’t play with a numerical disadvantage, you just make the game a hell of a lot harder than it needs to be.
But, I’m going to speak to the lads this week. We definitely need to tighten up that area. It’s an area of concern, discipline, and I don’t think I’m sitting here saying I’ve watched a bad tackle or a really bad moment.
Sam is stupid today. Just even going near him but he’s adamant that he hasn’t touched him. He’s then play-acted and got him sent from the pitch.
But as I say, if i was playing against Sam Finley, that’s what you would try and do. You would try and get him riled up and get his eye off the prize.
When he’s on it, he’s clearly a very talented player. If he does have a weakness it’s that he can get distracted in games. He can get caught up in the emotion of a game and today he’s paid the price for just getting involved in a nonsense he didn’t really need to.
You don’t want to get a reputation as a team or as a player because people will work on that…
Let’s be honest, he was not very good for us the referee, today.
We possibly could’ve had a penalty. I don’t think it was but I’ve seen them given. It was just a poor performance from us in terms of not staying with eleven men.
If you don’t stay with eleven men you’re always going to make it tough.
So really frustrated. But we keep moving forward.
It does give you a bit of a headache moving ahead with defenders particularly with Cian now not being available at the weekend and you’ve got a few injuries in that part of the pitch…
Yeah, we’ll figure out something and we’ll have a plan for the game Saturday.
But, I think that’s the compounder, not only do we lose Sam Finley for three games you lose Cian for a few games.
So, disappointed but again we’ve shot ourselves in the foot tonight. Port Vale, as I say third in the table, that’s the level of the league.
We’ve got a bit of work to do. I can’t wait for the window to open in January because there’s certainly parts of the pitch where we could do with reinforcements.
Obviously at this moment in time, we’ve got work to do and the good thing about this league is that everyone can beat everyone and you can get on runs.
When we stop shooting ourselves in the foot, maybe we’ll be able to do something special.
Looking ahead to January, are you sort of getting your ducks in a row now so you can move as soon as possible in that month?
Yeah it’s been tough for me with everything that has been going on to plan for the future, but now we’re able to do that.
As I say we’ve changed the culture of the building with the last window but you always know it’s going to be a couple of windows.
So, there’s lads here that have given everything they’ve got and have shown just what good players they are and we need to make sure that we foster that and keep building the football club in the right regard from a cultural standpoint.
But we’ve got to win games of football. We’re 16th in League Two and you’re playing the bigger sides. The sides that are up near the top of the table and to beat them all you’ve got to do is keep your discipline.
So that’s really frustrating, because we’re better than these teams, no doubt about it, but if we go down to ten men or nine men then it doesn’t matter how much quality you’ve got, you won’t win games of football.
Have you got a set disciplinary code at the club?
I haven’t, no. I’ve never fined players in my managerial career. Maybe I have to re-address that.
Will you be appealing Sam Finley’s red card?
Yes, 100 per cent. I’ll be showing the officials the other angles because I don’t think the linesman has got the best angle of it.
That usually falls on deaf ears because they tend to back each other up, unless it’s clear and obvious.
I’d do the same. I can’t really blame him. Sam is stupid but I think the first player to dive on the floor there, the other player would have got the red card.
We then lose a valuable player for not only that game, but a few games to come.
Have you had confirmation from the referee that Cian’s was denial of a goalscoring opportunity and not dangerous play, because there’s a difference between a one-game ban and a three-game ban…
Yeah, I think it is a goalscoring opportunity.
He didn’t actually make contact with the head area. I think it was more the body and if it was it was minimal contact and again that’s what they were better than us at tonight, playing the referee.
I’m actually going to change our MO now, I’m not going to ask my players to stay on their feet anymore.
I’ve tried it for 19/20 games. Do the right things but it just doesn’t work, at any level, definitely not our level.
You get way more from diving round and throwing yourself round and histrionics and play acting, because refs at this level buy it every single week.
So, we’re going to join the crusade. I’ve tried to stay away from it, do the right thing and be a tough and robust team.
I’ve not asked the players to scream and roll around on the floor but we are getting no joy out of it.
So, we’re going to have to join the rest of the division on that.
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If there’s any positives to take, Aaron Collins getting that monkey off his back with a league goal…
Yeah, we’ve had a go second-half. I thought with 10 men if anything we were a really dominant side strangely.
But, p***** off because that was a game we should win. We’re better than them.
Just going back to the refereeing situation, year after year, season after season fans get fed up of the refereeing situation. Would it change the game by making referee’s professional….
At our level?
Well, at any level…
That geezer today, you wouldn’t make him professional, he’s only going to get worse. He’s not going to get better.
I think you’ve just got to get better referee’s. People who’ve played the game would help.
Players are retiring at 35 or early through injury. The FA has a duty of care. Amalgamate those players who aren’t good enough or don’t have the robustness or don’t have whatever it is necessary to become a player.
Get them down to officiating. The problem is with these guys most of them can’t play footy. They’ve read the rule book.
I can tell by the way they tie their laces. I can tell by the way you tie your laces whether you can play football or not.
This guy today, his arrogance is what gets me.
It’s the arrogance when you’re asking what’s gone on. It’s just the way they speak to you. They speak to me sometimes like I’m a piece of s***, referees and officials, they do.
It’s disgusting. They’re fourth division referees. All you’re asking for is clarity on a decision or your questioning a decision.
I’ve tried to speak to them as much as I can but because our lads have had a go at them, when we get in at half time, I can see his eyeballs are red and bloodshot.
He’s just on the attack straight away with me and I’m just trying to talk to him to ask why he’s made a decision.
Baring in mind I’ve got the benefit of instant replays on the bench and I’ve seen multiple replays from our analysis guy.
And I’m saying to him he’s made the wrong decision. You’ve been sucked in. Greatest respect, how do you know?
You haven’t watched the replay of it and I’ve watched five or six replays.
I haven’t texted Mike Jones this year after texting him constantly last year about the standard of officials.
I haven’t texted him this year because I think it just falls on deaf ears. It’s a waste of my time and a waste of his.
People will just say ‘oh you’re moaning about referees again’, well the referee today, you’ve heard our fanbase. Our fans were singing for 60 minutes of the game ‘2-1 to the referee’.
The people who are paying to come and watch aren’t coming to pay and watch officials. There’s a reason they come and watch, it’s to watch the players play football.
If somebody does something that’s deemed violent conduct. Say Sam Finley does headbutt him, get him off the park for sure.
But for the nonsense and the play-acting, you’ve got to be absolutely sure to decide games. I think they just think it’s the WWF, it’s the modern era of football.
I’m sick of it. I’m just sick of the nonsense in the game. What happened to men being men. What happened to people standing up and having a good physical game of football.
If people cross the line and go into hurting opponents territory then get them off the park. But football is a physical game.
I’ve got mates of mine who just won’t watch footy anymore. They say it’s embarrassing to watch and it is. People are diving round and rolling round. The game’s gone.
At these levels you’re expecting to still have the blood and thunder in it but even the officials at this level are getting stuck into the nonsense and the histrionics.
For me it’s ruining the game. Fans come here to watch players play football.
I can see your predicament because you want to play the game honestly, you want your team to be honest in their approach….
Isn’t that what we all want. Do we not just want to watch a good competitive game of footy?
At the end it got that farcical that every tackle at the end everyone is asking for a red card, that ain’t football for me.
You don’t want to see players sent from the pitch. The fans come and pay to watch the players not the officials or the managers. The fans pay to come and watch the players play good football. Let them play.
If they overstep the mark you’ve got your cards there. But let the lads go and have a good, solid physical game of football.
But the contact is going out of the sport. It’s starting to become a non-contact sport. It’ll be tag football before you know it. It already is at Premier League level. You touch someone it’s a yellow card now for every tackle.
We’ve got to be very careful because I think football will lose what it is. We don’t not want this game to go like it is on the continent, which is stop-start.
The beauty of British football is the blood and thunder, the up and down, the end-to-end. That’s why we’ve got the best league in the world.
What holds it back is the diving. Watching Grealish for City, he’s never on his feet. Phenomenal player, stay on your feet. Play. Get the ball. Take people on. Score goal. The minute you go near them they go down.
I’m just lucky I didn’t play now. I was a physical player and I loved playing at the time I played. It was a time when men were men. What we’ve got now is nonsense.
The sad thing is my kids are growing up watching this and thinking this is how football was played.
We’ve got to get away from it because if we’re not careful we’ll be in the realms of WWF wrestling or whatever it’s called now.
Vince McMahon will be taking over the Premier League.