Roy plans a chat with ref

ROY Keane plans to have a little word with tonight's referee Keith Hill to make sure there will be no evening things up for Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

ROY Keane plans to have a little word with tonight's referee Keith Hill to make sure there will be no evening things up for Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock.

While the Ipswich Town manager trusts the professionalism of the Hertfordshire official and his team he feels it won't hurt to ensure everyone has moved on from the contentious decision not to allow Palace a goal against Bristol City.


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A shot from Freddie Sears clearly hit the bottom part of the frame of the goal at the back of the net and bounced back out but referee Rob Shoebridge and an assistant failed to see it and disallowed the goal.

While Shoebridge and his crew have been given a couple of weeks off, tonight's official at Portman Road, Mr Hill will be under the spotlight tonight.

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Keane said: “We might have to remind the officials before the game that it is a new game.

“It is a big talking point and that is the beauty of football but it should not have been a talking point.

“I usually go in an hour before the game with the team sheet.

“Hopefully I won't need to remind them because they are professional and they weren't involved in that over the weekend so it should not be an issue.”

Keane admits he is not sure how he would have reacted if he had been the opposing manger and whether he would have told his team to allow Palace to walk in an equaliser.

He said: “I don't know, I really don't. I can understand where Neil Warnock is coming from but at the same time I can understand where their manager is coming from another angle.

“Sometimes you are not 100 per cent sure until after the game.

“Clearly it was a goal but it wasn't given and the clubs all have to move on.

“You always hope that over the course of a season they even themselves out but sometimes they don't and I can understand Neil Warnock getting frustrated. I have seen a lot of decisions go against his club so he must be doing something wrong.”

Keane has respect and some sympathy for officials who he believes can be helped at times by using available technology.

He said: “We respect and understand how tough it is for the officials but managers are under pressure.

“Officials are too and it looks like they are going to be punished for this which is unfortunate but it was clearly a goal.

“They probably have the hardest job in the game but you can understand the manager's frustration because it has probably cost him a point.

“Goal-line technology should not have been an issue last Saturday because this one has ht the back of the net but it is something that should be considered.

“With the money involved and the pressure on officials maybe it would help although the other argument is it will slow the game down.

“At the same time we don't want these sorts of decisions costing managers and officials their career.”

Dodgy decisions aside, Keane is hoping his team can improve their results after picking up just a single point from the opening two league games.

He conceded: “We had hoped to have done a touch better especially with our goal threat but that will come.

“It does take six to seven games to get going and get that real sharpness.

“We don't want to be left too far behind so early.”

The former Sunderland boss who won promotion from the Championship in his first season as a manager knows tonight's task will not be any easier against a wily Warnock.

He said: “I have found out before when I was Sunderland manager that it is always a tough battle against Neil Warnock's teams.”

“His team are set out in a certain way and are difficult to break down.

“It is important for us not to concede because they are good at set pieces and getting the ball into the box.

“It will be a physically tough challenge and it may not be a beautiful game to watch but I have to instil in my players that we are going to get that in the championship and we need to grind out a point.”

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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