Pools boss John Hughes reflects on his dismissal at Coventry City

Mickey Barron and John Hughes after Coventry City take the lead. Picture by FRANK REID
Mickey Barron and John Hughes after Coventry City take the lead. Picture by FRANK REID
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JOHN Hughes says he will telephone referee Fred Graham to apologise should he feel his protest over Coventry City’s winning goal was incorrect.

The Scot was ordered to watch the second half from the stands having entered the officials’ room during the interval to discuss Cody McDonald’s first-half strike.

Hughes felt the City striker has illegally impeded Pools defender Peter Hartley before running clear and netting the game’s only goal in the 33rd minute.

But the Pools boss was measured when it came to reflecting on the whole affair.

“It’s part and parcel of football,” he said.

“These things happen and some things go for you.

“We won’t get hung up on it and after that we still had 60 minutes from the goal to get back into it.

“You just hope the decision was 100-per-cent correct because we are talking of livelihoods here.

“I felt it was a free-kick our way, the boy bumped into Hartley. Is he allowed to bump him?

“I’m man enough to admit that, when I see it back, if I got it wrong in complaining and the referee got it right then I will be the first to telephone him and say I was wrong.”

Hughes, though, believes Graham’s decision to remove him from the dugout for the second period was unfair.

“I had a word with him at half-time and he got upset, which is disappointing,” said the 48-year-old.

“I felt he could have took time out, a wee ten seconds.

“His emotions were running very high and he probably made his decision to send me into the stand off his emotions.

“And I’m saying that because I didn’t raise my voice - not once - or use foul or abusive language.

“All I said to him was that the decision puts livelihoods at stake – and he felt that was threatening behaviour.

“If that’s the case, then I’ll put my hands up to that. I’m just making a point.

“He felt I stepped across the line and sent me to the stands for it.

“Trust me, I’m in the game, we are all in it together and I’m the first guy if I was using foul language I would hold my hands up and accept what comes.

“But it was cool, calm and collected.”