Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom is begging for a fine from the FA with his comments following his side’s 2-1 defeat at Tottenham.
The Blades were on course for their first win of the season against in-form Spurs but two injury-time goals succumbed them to their fourth defeat in five Premier League games.
Heckingbottom used his post-match duties to heavily criticise the officials with a fine from the FA now inevitable.
He explained that the referee Peter Banks ‘dictated’ how his goalkeeper distributed the ball and questioned why a foul on Wes Foderingham that led to him needing stitches was deemed the same offence as his striker Oli McBurnie telling the referee his shirt is being pulled.
“It was an appalling game the way it was managed,” Heckingbottom said. “I know Spurs won the football match but I was saying the same thing at 0-0. At half-time I came to see the referee, when we were 1-0 I was saying the same things.
“The referees are dictating to our goalkeeper how we play. You see from minute one we split, Spurs adjust what they do so we have to adjust again.
“All of a sudden our keeper is booked for handling outside and he’s told he’s going to get another yellow if he doesn’t play the ball.
“But we have to wait and see how Spurs are going to stop us playing out before he can make a decision. They don’t understand what I’m saying to them and they’re refereeing a game in the top flight.
“Peter Banks’ is a good guy, but this is nothing new. It’s sad.
“Wes got jumped into by a player who turned his back and led with his elbow, stitches. Deemed the same offence by the referee as Oli McBurnie saying someone is pulling his shirt.
“Where are we going? Where are we going? It’s tough for me, we all love the game but the people who know the least about football are directing where the game is going. And that’s what I can’t take.
“Crazy. Absolutely barmy, but we’re letting these guys run our game and we need to stop them.”
On the game, Heckingbottom said: “Obviously it’s sickening for everyone involved in the dressing room. To come so close to three points, then thinking you’re going to have settle for one, and come away with nothing.
“Ultimately that’s what we play for, we play for the points and that’s why it hurts. But that doesn’t alter the performance.
“Obviously, in the week we’ll focus on how we can be better, but right now we have to be positive about how we played. You can see how they celebrated when they won the game, we did that to them.
“I’d rather have the points than be saying that to you, but sometimes that’s the way it goes.
“We have to take it on the chin and be ready for next week.
“The majority of their play was outside the box, you have to accept you will give the other team something. So for us to limit them like that, that was pleasing.
“If we could have took one or two more of our chances, that would have been really ruthless. There’s bits that we could do better, but overall another improved performance.”
McBurnie criticised the match officials on X (not Twitter), writing: “Not even allowed to speak to referees these days but certain teams/players allowed to run up to them multiple times in a game with no problems.”
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