Gaffer Coventry 2

REGARDLESS of whether decisions went the way of his Argyle side or not, Derek Adams called on referees to be allowed to speak up post-match on key decisions, following the 1-0 defeat to Coventry.

The calls made by the man in the middle at the Ricoh Arena, Darren Drysdale, played a key role in the outcome of the game, beginning with the decision to give a penalty to Coventry in the 43rd minute. Graham Carey was adjudged to have fouled Brandon Mason in the box, and Amadou Bakayoko placed in the penalty. 

Argyle’s momentum in the second half was halted by another big call, as Jamie Ness received a second yellow card for hand ball. The Pilgrims pushed on well following the red card, but were unable to overcome the numbers game.   

“I haven’t obviously seen the incidents [again] yet,” said Adams. “I’ve only seen what I saw with my own eyes live. 

“I thought the sending off was harsh, but might’ve been correct, because he should’ve been booked for his booking, and unfortunately the ball hits his hand for the second one. Jamie will be a big miss for us, and it’s not easy when someone goes out of the side who has done well. We need somebody to come in and do well. 

“But that’s not to say that a number of their players made fouls and didn’t get booked; kicked the ball away and didn’t get booked. Really, they should’ve been bookings as well, if you’re going to referee the game to the letter of the book. So don’t do things to the letter of the book, then not do them, then say: ‘I’m doing it to the letter of the book.’ You’ve got to be very careful how you do referee the match, if that’s the way you’re going to go about things. 

“I don’t have any qualms if he’s put his hand to stop the ball getting to an opponent for Coventry. It’s a booking. But someone kicking the ball away is a booking. Someone making persistent fouls is a booking. Someone making a late foul, when we’re on the break and it’s a deliberate push, is a booking. 

“If the referee wants to stand here and say that he did it by the letter of the book, then he didn’t referee the rest of the game by the letter of the book.”

Clarity and transparency are what Adams would like to see in the future. Instead of having to give his opinion from what he saw on the touchline, Derek wants the officials in charge of making those big calls have the chance to explain their decisions after matches. 

“I can’t speak to the referee,” said Adams. “The referees don’t come and speak to the press. The managers of the football clubs have to speak to the press. We would all like referees to stand here and explain their decisions. They want there to be 23 people on the pitch, but they don’t want to take part in conversations with the media. 

“They’re part of the game. They get paid from the Association. They are part of football, but they don’t want to do that side of the game. Something will have to change. We have to stand here and give our opinions. I couldn’t tell you if I’m right or wrong.”