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Page last updated at 10:47 GMT, Monday, 6 April 2009 11:47 UK

Martinez blames 'emotional' ref


Swansea boss unhappy with penalty

Swansea boss Roberto Martinez accused referee Mike Dean of making "an emotional decision" to award Cardiff a last-gasp penalty in Sunday's 2-2 draw.

The Wirral official suffered a bleeding head and was dazed after being hit by a coin thrown from the crowd in the South Wales derby at Ninian Park.

Dean caused controversy giving a "soft" penalty against Swansea in the final minute which Ross McCormack scored.

Martinez said: "To give a penalty then seemed to be an emotional decision."

Swansea's Wales defender Ashley Williams was penalised by Dean for bringing down eventual scorer McCormack in the final moments.

Earlier, the referee had needed treatment by Swans physio Richie Evans after being struck just above the eye from a coin hurled from the Popular Bank terrace - an incident that could be punished by the football authorities.

"It was not a penalty and everyone in the stadium didn't think so," Williams told BBC Sport.

"I don't think their players appealed as, if anything, he [McCormack] jumped in to me.

"I am gutted as I feel like we've been robbed by someone who obviously got influenced by the crowd. It is hard to take.

"He got hit in the head, then that happened. I don't know - but you can tell what we think."

Referee Mike Dean receives treatment for his injury at Ninian Park
You don't want to see coin throwing incidents like that, but looking at the overall performance of the referee maybe he was affected by it

Swansea City manager Roberto Martinez

Asked if referee Dean's crucial decision - a pivotal moment in Swansea's fading play-off bid - had been affected by his blow to the head, Martinez said: "I'd like to believe that it is not the case, but there must be a reason behind why he made such an emotional decision.

"It was disappointing that as a manager you work all week not to get emotional performances from your players and you drop two points because of an emotional decision by a referee.

"Mike said afterwards that the defender had his arms around the striker, which is hard to take because in that case there would have been nine or 10 penalties during the game.

"When you have two players fighting for positions in the box, you are going to have a little bit of contact. To give a penalty at that moment in the game, it seemed like an emotional decision.

"When you're emotional you don't do what you have to do, you don't have that coolness or composure to make an assessment.

"Disappointing is an understatement, it is heart-breaking for the players. The players feel robbed, it feels like a defeat. The players and the performance didn't deserve that and neither did the fans.

"You don't want to see coin-throwing incidents like that, but looking at the overall performance of the referee maybe he was affected by it."

Nathan Dyer had given Swansea the lead before Michael Chopra's leveller just after the break.

Wales Under-21 midfielder Joe Allen thought he had given the visitors the victory in the 88th minute before Cardiff's late, late show.

McCormack's 19th goal in his first full season in English football was the Scottish international's ninth successful penalty and third last-gasp strike in four Cardiff games.


The Bluebirds benefited from their 16th converted penalty and Martinez pointed out: "They know what they're doing, it's a great strength as that was something like their 16th penalty this season.

"It is something of a pattern but it is a shame a referee of Mike's experience and CV that he got affected by an emotional decision in the last minute of the game."

Martinez's Cardiff counterpart Dave Jones agreed: "It was a soft penalty."

But the Bluebirds boss added: "I've looked at the incident again and the lad has to win the header but he doesn't and he pushes Ross in the back.

"So I will beg to differ with Roberto over a glass of red wine."

Swansea remain five points behind their South Wales rivals who lie in sixth place and occupy the final play-off spot - but Cardiff have two games in hand.

Martinez insists that for Swansea to hit their 72-point target for a crucial play-off place, his side must not drop a point in their five remaining fixtures.

"The only chance we have to get into the play-offs is to win all of the games," he said.

"We are in the right fight as credit to the players, no-one thought we'd be in this position after we won promotion from League One."

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see also
Cardiff 2-2 Swansea
05 Apr 09 |  Championship
Referee assault angers Ridsdale
05 Apr 09 |  Cardiff
FAW starts coin-throwing inquiry
06 Apr 09 |  Cardiff
Police warning on derby disorder
06 Apr 09 |  South east
Sour note for Ninian farewell
05 Apr 09 |  Cardiff

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