'The worst I have ever come across' - Neil Warnock slams Championship officials after Matt Crooks' red card for Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock slammed referee Peter Banks – and says the standard of officiating in the Championship is the worst he has come across.

Sunday, 26th September 2021, 9:52 am
Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Warnock was left furious when midfielder Matt Crooks was shown a straight red card four minutes from time during his side’s 1-0 defeat at Reading on Saturday.

The 72-year-old confirmed the club would appeal the decision after hitting out at Banks and his fellow referees.

He said: “The referee (Peter Bankes) was in a terrible position. “He said that he saw the tackle and then had advice from his linesman who was 45 yards away. A young linesman who looked about 18.

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“The linesman said he saw Crooks go in for the ball with his studs high and endangering him [Southwood] so he immediately said red card to the referee.

“Peter didn’t have a very good second half and he was in a terrible position and he’s listened to a young pup with a flag in his hand.

“It’s terrible really. I’ve been in the game 42 years and this group of Championship referees at the minute is probably the worst I have ever come across.

“Honestly, if Matt hadn’t have gone in for that challenge, I’d have probably fined him.”

Alan Halilovic’s goal on 55 minutes for Reading proved to be the winner, meaning Boro have won just one of their last seven games.

Warnock, however, refused to criticise his players despite a tough start to the campaign with nine points from nine games leaving the club 18th in the table.

He added: “I can’t fault the effort that my players put in but I don’t think that we created enough chances.

“It all came down to that bit of luck again, a mishit shot (from Halilovic( that just bounces on the floor and goes in.

“Then Crooks gets on the end of a cross and it just hits the goalkeeper (Southwood) in the face. He didn’t know anything about it.

“It’s just one those things, we just have to keep going.”

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