‘Frustrated and angry’ Wolves boss Gary O’Neil tells referees to ‘get better’ after West Ham loss

News Desk
Gary O'Neil complains to the fourth official
Gary O'Neil complains to the fourth official

Wolves head coach Gary O’Neil has urged the Premier League refereeing standards to “get better” after his side were denied a stoppage-time equaliser against West Ham.

Wolves were infuriated when Maximilian Kilman’s header in the ninth minute of time added on was ruled out following a VAR check, with Tawanda Chirewa deemed to be impeding Hammers goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski by standing in front of him in an offside position.

Gary O’Neil fumes after Wolves defeat

Speaking after the 2-1 home defeat on Saturday, O’Neil said he had been to see referee Tony Harrington following the match but the conversation “didn’t go well” because he was still too worked up over the incident.

Asked if he now plans to speak to referees’ chief Howard Webb about the incident, O’Neill said: “I don’t know if he’ll want to speak to me. I don’t know if I have upset the officials.

“But even if he does speak to me, what am I going to get unless I ask for the game to be replayed?

“I’d like to get their thoughts on it, just from an understanding point of view, ‘if you’re telling me I’m wrong why am I wrong?’. Maybe I won’t get that luxury this weekend. The big thing for me is it needs to get better…

“For the most part I discuss things really calmly with them but when you feel it doesn’t help, obviously at this point it hasn’t helped us at all this season so it’s difficult not to feel as frustrated and angry as I did.

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“I’ll look at my own actions and try and make sure I always behave in a way that is fitting. But explanations is not what I need. I need the officiating to get better.

“Unless I’m completely mad and everyone disagrees and it should have been disallowed.”

Asked if VAR is working properly, O’Neil added: “I’m sure it will be reviewed, the process. I don’t have an issue with things being analysed, I understand sometimes they take longer than we would want.

“What I have an issue with is things being analysed and then landing on the wrong conclusion. Obviously it happens every now and then but for me it is happening too often.”

O’Neil said his Wolves players “don’t feel respected” by officials and suggested they were discussing ways they could take action themselves – although he would not elaborate on how.

“I’m not sure (what they can do),” he said. “I just know how they feel about it and it would be very hard for me to stand in front of them with any real sort of integrity and tell them that they’re wrong so we’ll see where they are and how they feel about it next week.”

While Wolves licked their wounds, West Ham celebrated a win which continues their push for European qualification. James Ward-Prowse scored directly from a corner in the 84th minute and Lucas Paqueta’s penalty cancelled out a first-half spot-kick from Pablo Sarabia.

Days before their Europa League quarter-final first leg against Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen, West Ham lost Jarrod Bowen to a concerning injury, but will have gained confidence after the midweek draw with Tottenham and last weekend’s dramatic 4-3 loss at Newcastle.

“The three games we’ve had this week have been huge games,” David Moyes said. “We got something here, we had a good result in midweek, we came really close last week so the boys have done a good job.

“Europe is something we feel we might have got something on but we’ve been put up against maybe the most talked about team in Europe outside Manchester City and Liverpool.”

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