Nottingham Forest Steve Cooper has fumed at referee Stuart Attwell despite the Premier League official apologising for a cock-up in last night’s 1-0 defeat.
The loss to Bournemouth means it’s the Cherries who will be in the Premier League next season, with Forest forced to settle for the play-offs.
A telling Philip Zinckernagel ball in the 41st minute saw Sam Surridge fouled by goalkeeper Mark Travers.
Initially, it appeared that Attwell had pointed to the spot but an offside flag was raised with replays showcasing it to be badly wrong.
That could have changed Bournemouth’s game plan. Instead, it gave them the catalyst to produce a well-drilled second-half performance.
Cooper made an astonishing claim about Attwell afterwards, although it seems he’s in no mood to be accepting any apologies.
He told Nottinghamshire Live: “When the referee asked to see me and apologised, held his hands up, it doesn’t make it any better. I think he’s tried to soften me up to be honest because he knows he and the linesman have made a huge error.
“It won’t soften me up. These things need to be reported correctly, which we do. There’s a lot of annoyance at that. We’ll get back, reflect and keep going.”
Forest boss Cooper is right to be fuming with Attwell and something has to change
In March, the top-flight official refereed the Carabao Cup Final and a fortnight ago he was handed Liverpool v Everton in the Premier League.
As a result, Forest should have been in safe hands with one of the better referees in the country. Instead, they were left to rue a series of bad decisions.
Bournemouth were given every single 50-50 in their direction; whilst Brennan Johnson was manhandled all night, with little return from the officials.
It’s frustrating but it is what it is.
Cooper is right though. Attwell’s comments speak somewhat of trying to put it to bed. Forest shouldn’t though and the boss has every right to be fuming.
These decisions are massive. Quite why a Premier League official was placed on the game remains to be seen.
Championship referees will have an order of merit and why shouldn’t a team of second-tier officials be rewarded for a successful season.
Forest boss Cooper will be fuming with Attwell for some time.
The next challenge will be to park it and tackle the play-offs with every intention of making Forest a Premier League club.