Date: 7th May 2006 at 1:03pm
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Kevin Blackwell criticised referee Phil Crossley following two penalty decisions that should have gone his side’s way, and it could be said the ref lost control right from the start. He was like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a car.

Blackwell: ‘I thought we should have had a penalty after four minutes, and there was another shout as well in the second half.

‘But I thought the referee was weak all night. He was very poor and that’s not sour grapes.

‘This game was too big for him. The magnitude of this match is such you have to have people who can handle it.

‘When we went to Preston last week (for the final league game of the season) for a match that was meaningless, we had a Premier League referee.

‘But then lo and behold we have a bigger game the following week and we have this referee put in charge.

‘I’m not saying anything bad about him. He is a great lad, a smashing bloke.

‘The referee’s job is a nightmare and I will back them in anyway I can, but common sense has to prevail.

‘The prize for all four clubs in these play-offs is massive and I don’t think anything should be left to chance.

‘You need experience in big games like these. It’s not something you can risk and that is why I am disappointed.’

 

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