Tony Mowbray gives scathing assessment of Lancashire Derby referee after Preston North End defeat

Tony Mowbray gave a scathing assessment of match referee Stephen Martin following Blackburn Rovers’ Lancashire Derby defeat at Deepdale.

By Tom Sandells
Saturday, 26th October 2019, 7:40 pm
Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray has a word with fourth official Ross Joyce as Alex Neil watches on.
Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray has a word with fourth official Ross Joyce as Alex Neil watches on.

Under-pressure Mowbray had just watched his side surrender a 2-0 lead to be beaten 3-2, thanks to two goals from Tom Barkhuizen and a Daniel Johnson penalty.

Rovers had raced into an early lead socring after 30 seconds and then 11 minutes.

But the Blackburn boss thinks that referee Martin should go and rewatch his own performance.

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He said: “I think his performance was so naïve it was unbelievable to watch and I think he should go and watch it back.

“Naïve in knowing what a foul is and what a foul isn’t.

“I’ve never seen so many six foot men on their backside falling over.

“I’ve been in the game 40 years and a foul’s a foul.

“A simulated roll on your back side is a simulated roll on your back side – play on.

“But the whistle blew all day and it was a really frustrating day.

“It’s just an opinion, but I thought he was really, really, really poor today.

“That sounds like sour grapes.

“They have a big six foot five centre forward on and it makes sense to get a foul on the halfway line or 10 yards into our half because it’s a chance to put the ball in the box.

“But he fell for it time and time again.

“Obviously my team is naïve in that fact as well. But there you go, that’s football.

“I’m disappointed sitting here today that if they are wherever they are in the league and we are wherever we are, it just shows what the Championship’s about.

“There was nothing in it, anybody can beat anybody on their day.”

Mowbray believes that had Preston North End not scored their opening goal, they wouldn’t have scored at all.

Mowbray singled out Christian Walton in causing the goal, who misjudged Darnell Fisher’s cross and was caught under the ball; allowing Sean Maguire to square for Barkhuizen to nod into an empty net.

“They don’t score the first goal I don’t think they score.

“They had no idea how to score in the first half.

“You have to say the goalkeeper messed up, Christian messed up for the first goal.

“He gives it the boy on the plate and then it gets the crowd involved in the match.

“I don’t think they were all guns blazing, they booted it long didn’t they? That’s what I saw.

“Played for fouls, put it in your box, push the man in second balls.

“All pretty basic stuff.”

Frustrated with his side giving away an advantageous position, the Rovers boss also seemed to question the approach from Preston.

“All I hear boos at half time and a moaning crowd at their team who are getting well beat.

“It’s football, you have to accept it and move on.

“Maybe we have to be a bit clever and manage games like they do.

“It’s not in my personality to influence players on how to win fouls.”