Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock has stated his bafflement at what he perceives to be a lack of 'major decisions' going in his side's favour.
Neil Warnock is not averse to a spot of referee-baiting, and the Crystal Palace manager has been at it again.
Phil Dowd did little to endear himself to the Selhurst Park boss on Monday night as Palace slipped to a 3-1 Premier League defeat to Sunderland in front of their own supporters.
Warnock’s fuse was lit within 30 seconds of the kick-off, with Fraizer Campbell seemingly sent tumbling inside the box by a clumsy challenge from Santiago Vergini.
However, a deaf ear was turned to those appeals and again later in the first-half when Wilfried Zaha tangled with Patrick van Aanholt.
To say Warnock was less than amused by the performance of the match officials would be an understatement, with his sense of injustice spilling out in a heated volley against those he feels are undermining his efforts to piece together positive results.
He aired his grievances on Sky Sports, starting with the incident inside the opening minute: “I think everybody knows it’s a penalty. The referee didn’t see it, but he’s in a great position.
“We need a bit of luck at the minute. The only chance we’ve got of a penalty is somebody picking the ball up and throwing it at the referee.
“It’s so disappointing when you play so well. How we’ve lost that game, I’ll never, ever know. Even the second one with Wilfried, it might be on the edge of the box but they give a goal kick. It bewilders me.
“But I thought we were superb tonight. They couldn’t have given any more, the lads. They were brilliant tonight.
“We need to try and make our own luck. We go to Old Trafford on Saturday, we won’t get many decisions there either. It’s difficult. It’s a hard place to go and we need to stand up and be counted.
“On another night, decisions change games, major decisions. In the last couple of weeks we’ve had major decisions go against us. It does feel cruel.”
Warnock added: “Tonight, you can’t get a clearer penalty, he’s just taken his legs, the defender. You can see it clearly and the referee is in a great position to give it.
“They are decisions which should be simple at the top class, we’re talking about the Premier League. I don’t understand.
“It’s no good speaking to Mike Riley is it? If you can’t see that Wilfried Zaha got pulled down in the box at West Brom…We were told we should appeal more. Well, I can’t see appealing any more making any difference.
“Then to top it all, we kick the ball out to let their boy have some treatment, which is a nothing challenge, and they go and kick it out for a throw-in. Really respectful that. I think we’re too nice, we’re too honest at the moment.”
As suggested by Warnock, things are not about to get any easier for Palace as they look to snap out of a four-match winless run.
Their next two fixtures see them travel to Manchester United, before playing host to Liverpool.
Meetings with Premier League heavyweights are the last thing you need when a little down on your luck, but an us-against-world mentality could also work in Palace’s favour – with shock results often secured when playing with fire in your belly.