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Page last updated at 16:28 GMT, Thursday, 21 May 2009 17:28 UK

Blackwell unhappy with final ref

Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell
Blackwell is aiming for his first win in the play-off final

Sheffield United boss Kevin Blackwell is angry with the Football Association for appointing Mike Dean as referee for the Championship play-off final.

Dean sparked a furious reaction from Blades in October when he sent off Matt Kilgallon in the Sheffield derby.

Blackwell told Radio Sheffield: "I'm very disappointed with the stupidity and insensitivity of the appointment.

"I'm not saying Mike Dean is not a good referee but at Hillsborough he had a poor game and my marks reflected that."

"Who turns up in the final? A referee we've had a major problem with. I just don't understand the thinking of it."

Why does he turn up for the biggest game of the season? I'm under pressure, he's under pressure and I just don't understand it

Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell

Defender Matthew Kilgallon's dismissal in the Hillsborough derby on 19 October was met with derision and anger from the Blades camp.

Dean decreed that high boot in a challenge deserved a straight red after just 27 minutes, a decision that Blackwell at the time labelled "bizarre".

Sheffield Wednesday went on to win the game 1-0.

The Blades boss was incensed by the referee's performance in the derby and made his feelings known.

Speaking ahead of Monday's showdown at Wembley he added: "When you look at how big the game is both for Mike Dean and for our players do you think they should put someone like that in charge?

"It puts pressure on me as a manager and puts pressure on Mike Dean as a referee.

"I am very annoyed about it not because it's Mike, he's a decent lad, but he had a poor game and I marked him accordingly.

"There was an altercation between the referee and ourselves at the Hillsborough game so why bring it up now? Why have we not had him again in the big games between then and the end of the season?

"Why does he turn up for the biggest game of the season? I'm under pressure, he's under pressure and I just don't understand it."



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see also
Sheff Wed 1-0 Sheff Utd
19 Oct 08 |  Championship
Speed ruled out of play-off final
20 May 09 |  Sheff Utd
Blades duo unlikely to make final
18 May 09 |  Sheff Utd


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