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Heckingbottom blasts ‘appaling’ Premier League referees following a late defeat to Spurs

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom has strongly criticised the “appaling” standard of refereeing in the Premier League after his team endured a last-minute defeat to Tottenham on Saturday.

The newly promoted Premier League side seemed poised to secure their first win of the season thanks to Gustavo Hamer’s goal.

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However, Spurs snatched a dramatic victory with late goals from Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski in the 98th and 100th minutes, respectively.

After the match, Heckingbottom expressed his anger towards the officials for several incidents that occurred during the game.

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“The focus all of a sudden comes on time-wasting, so they’re dictating how we play. If you play to take goal kicks from the back, you set up one way, and if Spurs go against that, that dictates the decision you make.

Paul Heckington
Paul Heckingbottom was upset with the officials after his side suffered a defeat at Tottenham on Saturday. Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

“We’re getting told to just play long — you can’t do it. Wes [Foderingham] got booked for handling outside the box and then you’re threatening him with another yellow [for dissent]. You just can’t do it.

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“When I speak to the referees, they haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about. They’re officiating our games at the top level, and they simply do not know the game. We need to sort that, and sort it quick. It ruined the spectacle.”

Heckingbottom was also upset that there was little protection for United goalkeeper Foderingham and questioned the decision to send off striker Ollie McBurnie late on.

“You see all the frustration,” he added. “Both teams, both sides, both teams taking the mickey out of the ref and to sum it all up, we get Ollie McBurnie sent off for telling the referee someone’s pulling his shirt.

“We’ve just seen someone turning their back, jumping into our goalkeeper, leading with an elbow; he needs stitches — and that’s deemed the same offence. What’s going on with our game?”

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