Furious Sheff Utd boss Paul Heckingbottom accuses referee of telling his team how to play FOOTBALL in shock outburst

PAUL HECKINGBOTTOM launched an astonishing rant against officials, accusing ref Peter Bankes of telling him how his Sheffield United side should play football.

Six Blades players were booked during their late collapse against Tottenham, while Ollie McBurnie was sent off after two yellows.

Paul Heckingbottom raged at referee Peter Bankes’ after Sheffield United’s dramatic defeat to TottenhamRex

Ollie McBurnie was sent off for two yellow cards, with the second for dissentGetty

Heckingbottom, who also claimed Bankes threatened to send keeper Wes Foderingham off for time-wasting after an earlier booking, accused officials of a desperate lack of understanding which is “killing” the game.

Foderingham, who needed stitches after an elbow from Micky van de Ven, was booked for handling the ball outside of the penalty area but caused huge frustration by taking time over goal kicks, which Heckingbottom defended as part of their plan to play out from the back.

The Blades boss, who confronted Bankes at half-time and following the game, fumed: “Something needs to be done now.

“This is not me moaning, I said it at half-time and when we were 1-0 up as well. The focus is on time-wasting, so the referees are dictating how we play.

“We set up from the back, then Spurs push forward and then that dictates how we play. But no, we’re just told to ‘play long’. The answer back to me was ‘well kick long then’.

“We work all week on how we want to play and the refs are dictating to us how we play the game. It can’t happen, but it’s happening. They’ve got obsessed about time-wasting and yellow cards.

“Wes Foderingham got a yellow card for handling outside the box and then got threatened with a sending off you can’t do it.

“The officiating is appalling, and it’s not about the football decisions, it’s just game management.


“They just do not know what they’re doing. The people who are directing our game have not got a clue about our game. They don’t know football.

“My worry is all the focus is on yellow cards for time-wasting and when I talked to the referees they haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about. they’re officiating the game, they simply do not know the game.

“To sum it all up we get Ollie McBurnie sent off for telling the referee someone is pulling his shirt. We’ve just seen someone lead with an elbow into our goalkeeper who needs stitches and that’s the same offence. What’s going on, seriously what’s going on with our game?

“The referees are just killing the game at the minute. Ruining it.”

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou hailed Spurs fans for sticking with their side throughout and aiding their push for a late comeback.

The late win means the Aussie has now gone 50 home league games without a defeat, a record which stretches back across his time at Celtic to Japanese club Yokohama.

He said: “It is something I am proud of.

“I do put a big emphasis on that in terms of wherever I’ve been. For your supporters as much as you enjoy away wins, when they come to their home ground is when you really want to reward them.

“The fans were crucial, it was a frustrating game.”

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