Dave Seddon’s PNE press view

Referee Trevor Kettle orders North End's Bailey Wright 'off the field
Referee Trevor Kettle orders North End's Bailey Wright 'off the field
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A week on and ref Trevor Kettle is still being talked about in Preston – and not with any fondness either.

You would trust that his ears have been burning these last few days with regards that ever-so-controversial refereeing performance in PNE’s 1-1 draw with Wolves.

Two red cards, some yellows as well, not to mention a whole host of inconsistency.

Yet will it ever become public knowledge what was behind some of his thinking and how Mr Kettle’s afternoon was seen through the eyes of the Football League assessor?

I won’t rake over old coals too much in respect of some of the decisions, which had the North End faithful shouting themselves hoarse in despair.

He got Joe Garner’s red card correct in respect of the height of his raised boot, even if contact with the Wolves player was minimal.

But was there the need to have the red card in his hand before Garner and Danny Batth had seemingly hit the deck? Taking a deep breath, having a moment’s thinking time before dipping into his pocket could well have altered public perception.

John Wayne probably never drew a pistol from his holster as quickly as Mr Kettle did in pulling out red.

Bailey Wright’s dismissal was softer than a fluffy mattress – both yellows bordering on harsh, the second in particular.

As for the inconsistency, the 90 minutes was littered with it, that probably causing more frustration than the red cards.

Sometimes, I think it would be good to talk in such situations.

Would it help to provide referees with an opportunity to give their version of events?

I am not saying that should happen in every game, with every kick, shove and offside scrutinised.

But if an official has given a decision which many are choosing to disagree with, and at the same time call the referee every name under the sun, why not allow them to give their side of things?

It might be that we have to agree to disagree on a particular decision but at least it would be all out there in the public domain.

A few questions from the media – it doesn’t have to be a grilling – and we get a picture of what a referee were thinking.

On the occasions when I have spoken to referees in this job, I have found them to be very decent people and passionate about their job.

Such interviews have been after a late postponement of a game – at Crawley and Bury.

Both referees were only too happy to come for a chat to explain why they had been forced into the action they had.

In a matter of minutes, the circumstances had been explained and then relayed to supporters.

Why not give referees such an option for contentious decisions? It would have been interesting to hear Mr Kettle’s view on the red card for Garner, and why Wright deserved two yellows when two Wolves players got away with similar indiscretions?

It might not have been met with universal agreement but at least we would have had a few answers.

How much the banned Garner and Wright are missed against Sheffield Wednesday, we shall see later on.

Perhaps the absence of Garner is softened slightly by the fact he had not yet scored this season.

But ask any North End fan if they would prefer to have him leading the line at Hillsborough, and I know what the answer would be from the majority.

Garner has edge and instinct in his game – take that early shot he had against Wolves which whistled inches wide.

Surely if he keeps plugging away after his ban, a goal will come from him.

Moving away from Deepdale and out towards the north tip of the Fylde coast, it was sad to see the Graham Alexander sacked by Fleetwood this week.

Judging by the many messages of support sent his way in the wake of Wednesday teatime’s news, Grezza is still held in the highest regard in the Preston area.

The sack is not a pleasant experience for a football manager but most will be on the receiving end at some point in their career.

I predict that Grezza will be back in the game sooner rather than later, perhaps after a brief break to re-energise himself.

The time managers are spending in jobs is getting shorter.

It is interesting to note that following the exits of Grezza and Steve Evans from their posts, PNE’s Simon Grayson is now the 17th longest-serving boss in the four divisions, with two years and seven months’ service under his belt.