Fed-up Wolves boss O’Neil ponders changing attitude towards refs after Fulham defeat

A fed-up Wolves boss Gary O’Neil admits they may need to change their attitude towards referees after Monday night’s 3-2 defeat at Fulham.

Three penalties were given in the game with Fulham’s Willian converting a 94th minute spotkick for the winner.

O’Neil later said, “We have discussed a lot of decisions. Vinicius should have been off for headbutting Max [Kilman]. Tim Ream should have been sent off for a second bookable offence on the penalty. They are my opinions.

“Nelson [Semedo] plays the ball and doesn’t touch Tom Cairney. The referee says he felt that was wrong and he should have been sent to the monitor. That doesn’t help me. So that one has been pretty much admitted that it was a mistake. The Harry Wilson one we disagree. I feel it was soft. For all four decisions to go against us is tough to take and we didn’t deserve that.

“[It’s] bad luck that it keeps going against us. But yeah, there are bad refereeing decisions in there, I have had a good grown-up conversation with him [the referee]. I am not angry with people, it’s like ‘Come on guys, there’s six or seven that have gone against us’. This is a big club. The impact that you are having on my reputation, and the club and people’s livelihoods is massive. We should be able to talk about the game and not decisions but unfortunately, we can’t.

“I have two options. We keep behaving as we should and respect the decisions and tell the players to do the same or we start saying this isn’t working for us and making some noise. I’d rather be a decent human being and be honest, but it can’t keep going against us. In the second half I think we should have done better as a team and in the first, I think we had some good control and decent chances. Incredible backing from the fans, great effort from the players and unfortunately it’s gone against us.

“I think it is a really complex [issue]. I have always been for VAR but I think it is causing problems at the moment. I think VAR has cost us there. The fact that one is deemed an obvious error and one is not is [baffling]. Maybe with just a human referee one of the penalties may have gone against us, but the fact that we have conceded two, for me VAR is not helping with subjective decisions. Maybe tonight has finally turned me against VAR.”

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