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Page last updated at 17:26 GMT, Friday, 29 October 2010 18:26 UK

Accies' Billy Reid calls for calm over ref decisions

Hamilton manager Billy Reid
Accies manager Reid talks to referee Crawford Allan

By John Barnes

Hamilton manager Billy Reid says he would understand if referees were to refuse to officiate because of the excessive criticism directed at them.

The Accies boss believes the pressure officials are under is "quite incredible" and fears it may get worse.

"I would understand if referees went on strike," said Reid. "It must be horrendous for them.

"The pressure they are under is quite incredible. I don't know how they manage to do it."

The Douglas Park boss has sympathy for the officials' predicament and he believes that some of the comments made by his fellow managers and coaches are on occasions a bit over the top.

"It's high pressure, but managers are under so much pressure at bigger clubs than Hamilton," he said ahead of his team's Lanarkshire derby at Fir Park.

I think it has to calm down a little for the sake of everybody

Hamilton manager Billy Reid

"That doesn't mean that I'm not under pressure, but it's all our livelihoods as well.

"Would I like the standard to be better? Yes, I would.

"There are some decisions that are made that are miles off the mark and I think those are the things that have got to be brushed up on and only referees can do that."

Reid's comments come at the end of a week in which Old Firm referee Willie Collum received threatening phone calls and assistant referee Steven Craven resigned following the controversy that surrounded Dougie McDonald's and his decision to rescind a penalty awarded to Celtic against Dundee United.

"Sometimes at bigger clubs, there's a lot more made of it (a bad decision)," said the Accies boss.

"The pressure referees are under is quite incredible and I think it's going to get worse."

Reid also believes that Collum is probably the best referee in the country and says he felt for him in Sunday's Old Firm encounter, which he watched from the stand at Celtic Park.

"I thought Willie was having a smashing match until the penalty kick and, at that time, I thought, 'oh no, Willie, you've made a mistake with that', and it absolutely killed him," he said.

Reid feels that the criticism being taken into a referee's family environment is not acceptable.

"They're having problems off the park, which I think is totally unwarranted," he said of the calls to Collum's home.

"I feel for him, but they do make mistakes. Maybe refs do that too many times, but it's maybe due to the pressure they're now being put under.

"I think it has to calm down a little for the sake of everybody."

Kilmarnock manager Mixu Paatelainen is another who feels the pressure on the officials is too great.

He told BBC Scotland: "The referees need peace and breathing space where they can approach matches with a relaxed mood instead of being under pressure before and after matches.

"When the next match comes around they are nervous wrecks and they can't perform to the best of their ability if that is their mindset.

"So it is very important that everybody - players, managers, coaches and everyone associated - should realise that and back off a bit."

The Rugby Park boss felt his team were denied a good goal against Rangers in the Co-operative Insurance Cup on Wednesday, but he won't be making an issue of the match officials' error.

Having watched replays of Liam Kelly's effort, disallowed for offside, the Finn said: "It was a goal but unfortunately it wasn't given.

"If we had it, it might have put Rangers under a little bit more pressure.

"It's swings and roundabouts - that one didn't go for our benefit - but hopefully it will next time."

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see also
Jefferies backs assistant Craven
28 Oct 10 |  Hearts
Ref warned after Tannadice probe
29 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier
Celtic want Collum clarification
26 Oct 10 |  Celtic
Ex-ref calls for Scots peace deal
26 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier
Old Firm referee receives threats
26 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier

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