Derby County boss, Wayne Rooney, has hit out at Stephen Martin for not awarding his side a late penalty in last night’s 2-1 defeat to Blackburn Rovers, labelling it ‘completely unacceptable’.
Rooney’s side had taken the lead at Ewood Park through Tom Lawrence but, despite playing well for large spells of the game, came away with nothing as Sam Gallagher and Harvey Elliott struck to secure Blackburn the three points to move them clear of trouble.
The same can’t be said for Derby, who are slipping further into the mix for relegation in the Championship week-by-week.
Frustration was evidently with Rooney, too, as the Derby boss fumed with Martin post-match after the referee failed to spot Festy Ebosele’s tumble in the box under pressure from Ryan Nyambe.
As quoted by The Guardian, Rooney said: “I’ve seen the replay and it’s the most clear penalty you could ever see. I didn’t need to see a replay. Where I was stood, the fourth official was stood right beside me, the referee’s got a great view of it, and it’s completely unacceptable, the decision to not give a penalty.
“Listen, I know referees, it’s a tough job, I respect that. They get decisions wrong at times, but this one is completely unacceptable. I don’t really want to go this route, but Alan Wiley has to take action, because that is unacceptable. I’ve asked to speak to the referee calmly, I’m not going to go in shouting and rant. All I wanted is an explanation into how he can’t see it’s a penalty.”
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Defeat last night leaves Derby on 43 points in the Championship, sitting 21st in the table and hovering dangerously above the relegation zone.
They are still four points clear of Rotherham United, but will watch the rest of the Championship in action over the course of the next two days with hope of a couple of big favours.
The Millers have three games in hand on the Rams, which includes tomorrow’s clash with Birmingham City.
Birmingham, Huddersfield Town and Coventry City are not yet out of trouble either, with the Terriers taking on Nottingham Forest today and Coventry hosting Barnsley tomorrow.
The pressure is on Rooney and decisions like this going against him are going to be a huge source of frustration right now.
The Derby boss seems adamant that his side should have had a penalty, but when luck isn’t with you in the Championship, it’s a tough place to be.
Rooney is finding that out at the moment and things are going to get tense for Derby in the coming weeks. Some huge fixtures await and, in truth, they could do with a couple of favours on Saturday and Sunday.
Thoughts? Let us know!