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Jewell: Referee Made the Right Decision
Jewell: Referee Made the Right Decision
Saturday, 11th Feb 2012 16:47

Boss Paul Jewell felt that referee Dean Whitestone made the right decision to abandon Town’s game against Middlesbrough with conditions becoming dangerous, Blues skipper Ibrahima Sonko having suffered a cracked rib. The Town manager felt the pitch was playable at the start but got worse as the 37 minutes progressed.

Jewell said: “You’ve all got to play in bad conditions but when they become dangerous, as they were out there, to be honest, it becomes a bit of a farce.

“I fully understand supporters’ frustrations but as a football match it was becoming more and more of a lottery as every minute went on.

“Sonko’s cracked a rib there. If the pitch hadn’t been in that condition that probably wouldn’t have happened.

“We were playing well, no doubt about it, we were the better side. We adapted to the conditions well but the last thing you want to do is get any more injuries or lose a game due to the conditions of the pitch.”

Asked whether the referee was wrong to start the game in the first place the Liverpudlian said the surface had been fine earlier in the day: “It was a difficult one because we were here at 10 o’clock this morning and we had the balloon on the pitch, it was perfect, there wasn’t a problem with it.

“But when they took that off at about 1 o’clock, or 1.30, the weather gets into it. When I went out on to it was OK, a bit crusty, but it really was getting a bit tough, the linesman was running the line three yards on to the pitch.

“It was a right anti-climax and I feel really sorry for the supporters both of Ipswich and Middlesbrough, who had come an awful long way, but one of our players has been injured and I think that’s down to the conditions and I didn’t need any more of that.”

Jewell says Sonko’s injury played some part in the abandonment: “I think that probably came into the thinking because they’re in contact and the fourth official had relayed to him that he’d heard our physio say that he thought Sonko had cracked a rib due to his fall, which will have to be confirmed.

“A lot of the pitch was fine, that’s the frustrating thing about it, but you saw Emmanuel-Thomas slip over into the hoardings in the first couple of minutes. It’s really horrible way to end a Saturday afternoon.

“From mine and Tony Mowbray’s perspective we both wanted to see a decent football match. We were playing quite well and we were the better team.”

Earlier in the day he felt there was little question that the game would go ahead: “Me and Tony were here at 10 o’clock this morning and I didn’t think it was in doubt.

“I got a phone call to say there was a pitch inspection at 11.15 and the referee was coming to look at the pitch but it was lovely and warm under there, it was fine. As the afternoon has gone on, you could feel how cold it’s got and it’s become unplayable.

“At 10’o clock it was fine. There was only one concern, the far side, not the side we were on but the far side.

“But we got the heaters on that and that wasn’t a problem. The problem was this side, by the dugouts, where there’s a six or seven-yard strip down the pitch. I think Tony was happy at 10’o clock, I think they were less happy when it started.”

He admits that if his side had been in front when the decision was taken he might have been less pleased: “If you look back to the Leicester game last year, if it had been 0-0 at half-time, the game would have been abandoned.

“If we had scored, it would have been hard to convince me to call it off and the other way around. The referee is in an impossible position really.

“We wanted to carry on, but we don’t want to carry on and get beaten by the pitch or get another injury because of it. I know it’s horrible for the supporters and everyone connected with football but I think probably the right decision was made.

“I feel flat, I’m usually ranting and raving at this time, so it’s quite nice to be calm. We’re disappointed. We’ll be in tomorrow because we’ve got a game on Tuesday.”

Jewell says he expects Sonko to miss Tuesday’s game at Portsmouth and confirmed that he is looking for loan cover at centre-half: “It’s looking that way. We don’t know definitely but that’s what the physio’s thinks he’s done so he’ll be away to the hospital to get an x-ray.

“We were looking to bring people in anyway but that really leaves us stretched at the back anyway.”

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flashblue added 16:56 - Feb 11
Good we would have lost tht game. I was beginning to turn against us.

DikkieCOYB added 16:58 - Feb 11
It weren't thatr bad, if this is cancelled then surely our 3-0 win against Leicester would have surely been called off. And the linesman what an idiot, these officials really annoy me. They can't get a grip when all they day is move sidewards i could have got a grip moving sidewards occasionally with flip flops on anyway.

SeasonTKT_Cobbold added 16:58 - Feb 11
20,000 people had their afternoons ruined by this ref. I've emailed the FA, should've been called off at 1115!

DikkieCOYB added 17:00 - Feb 11
i will do the same and email the FA, although that would be if i knew how. It would be awfully nice of you to tell me SeasonTKT_Cobbold

Dissboyitfc added 17:01 - Feb 11
just heard clegg, he is the problem with this club, he must give full refunds , what a clown...coyb

Chicago_Blue added 17:07 - Feb 11
Surely the rearranged game will be on FA 5th round Saturday - as we're both out of the cup?

righty added 17:07 - Feb 11
Typical Jewell reaction idiot and as for clegg get rid of the lot of them

SeasonTKT_Cobbold added 17:08 - Feb 11
DikkieCOYB, if you go on to the FA's website and click contact us you can email them from there. I had to register but that's easy enough from the same page.

tractorboy1961 added 17:09 - Feb 11
I shall also e mail the FA as the whole thing is a shambles. Did those involved in the decision at 11-15am not consider that it would get colder? Funnily the sun follows the same direction very day and the Met Office provide a very detailed prediction of the temperatures.

Why didn't the referee come and explain his decision to the media?

No this is yet another situation where the over paid and over protected professionals in the game are given full consideration yet the fans are ignored. And it will be the same until us fans make a stand.

SuperReuser added 17:12 - Feb 11
HOW IS THIS CLEGGS FAULT. everyone loves to blame Clegg for everything. It wasnt his fault that the game was called off. It is entirely the refs fault. I cant image the pitch became much worse between 11.15 and 3.30 so it should have either never gone ahead, or never been called off.

Also Clegg cannot be blamed for the 50% comment. He has said no decision will be made yet, that is just standard procedure for now. Far too many unnecessary haters on this site

righty added 17:18 - Feb 11
SuperReuser you must be Cleggs love child you idiot he is to blame for ITFC being in the position we are in get real of course ITFC can charge what they like he hides behind anything he is to blame

jas0999 added 17:20 - Feb 11
It should have been postponed earlier - at 11:15. There was clearly doubt - hence the further inspection. PJ, Mogga and the ref have to take full responsibility for that.

stu_ward27 added 17:24 - Feb 11
disgraceful from the referee, why didn't he call it off at 11.15? or even at 2.00 when there was the second inspection? add to the fact that the boro management were forcing their opinions on to the officials at every opportunity, they obviously could sense that we were the better team! when the rearranged match takes place, i suspect both team's form will have changed, those fans won't come back because they won't get a full refund, and we will get hammered!!!!!

bluelady added 17:25 - Feb 11
Jas blaming PJ, nothing new there then..... with Borough tired after wed and players injured think we all wanted the game to go ahead......

gorse added 17:28 - Feb 11
Have to agree with tractorboy1961 - we all played in the sleet and snow as kids but frozen pitches are dangerous for exactly the reason we saw w/Sonko. Last thing we need is injury problems given squad issues. IMO it should never have started, for the sake of both fans and players. Also agree unconstructive whining is cheap and detrimental.

TractorCleaner added 17:32 - Feb 11
I was one of the many staff members trying to get the pitch into a playable condition but the Britannia side of the pitch was as hard as concrete, someone was bound to get injured and both teams were lucky it was only a minor injury

Gilesy added 17:34 - Feb 11
DO you have to be a brainless moron to be a football fan, or is it an optional extra? Judging by the majority of posts I read, it does seem to be prerequisite.

Garv added 17:36 - Feb 11
6 or 7 yard strip? This was enough to call it off?!

The rest of the pitch was fine! And I'm not buying Sonko getting injured because of the 'conditions'.

PSGBlue added 17:36 - Feb 11
Personally a fustrating day. This morning my bathroom drain blocked up, then there was an enourmous cracking sound and my double glazed bathroom window cracked due to the Minus 12 C outside, just like an Autoglass advert. Then I set off from Sleaford having waited until 1130 am for confirmation that the game was on. Another £50-00 of petrol wasted, never mind 50% off the rearranged tickets - how about half a tank of petrol!

Can't see how the pitch would have got any worse between 14.00 and 15.30. Temperatures were still above Zero when I got to the car at 16.00. As some Boro fan said on Radio Suffolk, if this was August and we had a bone hard pitch - the game would have continued.

righty added 17:40 - Feb 11
Gilesy takes one to know one

Gilesy added 17:47 - Feb 11

jackele added 17:48 - Feb 11
should of called it off earlier instead of
wasting our time

Scuzzer added 18:06 - Feb 11
One Point , Its not the FA who should be contacted its the Football League. It was a FL official who brought this situation about.
Another point, I see someone said that he was a member of the groundstaff and that the pitch in front of the Brittania was like concrete....well was he the one who pushed in the fork after the players went off into the ground up to the hilt? In that case he must be incredibly strong. Indeed the pitch was showing areas cutting up in that location.
Another point...Mr Jwell JET couldnt stop when off the pitch, not on it.
Another point, not one player slipped over on the pitch neither did the referee have any difficulty in controlling the player looked at risk in the conditions. The only one to complain was indee the linesman in front of the Brittania...and I thought he was coping relatively well when running a yard on the pitch...not the five Mr Mowbray was claiming.
And Mr Clegg...dont even seriously consider discount on the rematch...a full refund should be available for thosewho cannot make the rearranged game. The club should then claim compensation from the Football League.

walberswick added 18:35 - Feb 11
Should have been called off at 8.00 am if it was frozen. What about the fans travelling fron M'boro.

The ref made a bad situation much worse.

SitfcB added 18:45 - Feb 11
Chicago_Blue - Nope, there's league games for the teams that aren't in the cup. We have Cardiff at home.

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