Alexander slams ref over vital calls

Graham Alexander gives orders at Ashton Gate
Graham Alexander gives orders at Ashton Gate

Graham Alexander apologised to his Fleetwood players for laying into referee Gavin Ward instead of focusing on their display.

Not for the first time this season, the Town boss questioned the influence of a big crowd on match officials.

Alexander said: “I’m not scratching my head – I know the reasons we got beaten. You could read it at the end of the first half.

“I spoke to the fourth (official) about the pressure that would come on the referee in the second half, and asked if he could ignore the baiting he got as he came off at half-time.

“He came out second half, it’s free-kick after free- kick and it’s won them the game. I’m not scratching my head – it’s plain and clear.”

Alexander believes his side were hard done by for both City’s goals, claiming fouls on Gareth Evans and Haughton in the build-ups.

He said of City’s first goal: “The lad has jumped in. There’s no contact, he’s tangled legs. But you go down at home, 10,000 people shout and it’s a free-kick, and they score.

“They put it into our box, it’s their biggest strength. They couldn’t break us down. It all came from free- kicks and corners.

“We had to defend free- kicks from 50 or 60 yards out because the referee chooses to give them.

“For the second goal, a free-kick should have been given for a foul on Haughton. The referee’s five yards away. It’s disgraceful he’s not seen it.

“Does it really matter to him to not give it? I don’t think he cares and they get a second goal. It’s a bitter pill to swallow.

“We just have to go on to the next (away) game and come up with a plan, so we can deal with it.

“I should ignore what happened with the referee and concentrate on my players because they were superb. They’ve played some great football and could have scored. We should be proud because the future of the team looks great.”