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McKenna: Officials Apologised For First Two Preston Goals
Friday, 9th Feb 2024 15:38

Town boss Kieran McKenna has revealed that the Blues received an apology from last week’s officials regarding Preston’s opening two goals in last Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Deepdale.

Skipper Sam Morsy appeared to be fouled by Will Keane ahead of the first goal in the fifth minute, which the former Town striker scored, but referee Graham Scott failed to spot anything untoward.

Then, three minutes later, there was a clear offside in the build-up to the second, which was inadvertently put past Vaclav Hladky by George Edmundson, also not seen by assistant referee James Mainwaring.

“Yes, I think it was stated that both first goals shouldn't have counted and I think that's clear watching it back,” McKenna said when asked about the apology.

“The first goal is a clear foul, taking away the massive deflection on the shot from 28 yards, and the second goal is a clear offside.

“I said at the time it's a tough game anyway, but when you have those two instances happen in the first seven minutes of the game, it's always going to be tough. There can be credit taken from the way we came back from that situation.”

While the opening to the Preston game was somewhat skewed by the two goals, the Blues might have conceded in the opening 70 seconds, hardly the first time Town have started a game slowly or allowed the opposition to get their noses in front in this season.

“There's two sides to it,” McKenna reflected. “You can say that we started the game slowly, but that's because there were two goals that should have been disallowed in the first seven minutes.

“It wasn't like the players weren't running or on the front foot in the game, so sometimes it can be moments.

“I think we've had quite a few games this year where there have been random moments, refereeing decisions, great goals or individual errors, and these things can happen in a football match.

“But we don't hide from the fact that, especially away from home, there's been a few too many games than what we would want where we've conceded the first goal.

“Especially in a couple of the away games we haven't managed to get a foothold in the game as steadily as we would want to in the early stages of the game, and that's something that we've looked at and will continue to look at.

“We always review every bit of the team and how we're progressing and try and identify areas that we can improve, but at the same time, football is a random game sometimes.

“The players prepared really well last week for the game, I certainly don't have any problem with the attitude and energy at the start of the game. They scored a deflected goal from 28 yards that should have been a free-kick and that turns into a bad start.

“So I think there's been a few of those, but there's also things that we've identified and we'll look at to give us a better chance to get a good footing in the game.”

Town are currently in a run of winning only one of their last eight in the league, a streak similar to this time last year, which preceded the remarkable unbeaten 15-game charge to promotion, 13 wins and two draws.

McKenna was asked whether there were comparisons with the sticky spell last year and the current situation.

“I think you're always going to have different phases in seasons anyway,” McKenna considered. “Maybe one team might this year, but in general you're not going to have a phase where you win all your games all of the time over a 46-game season.

“Last Saturday was the first loss in the league for six games and the first loss in the league in 2024.

“You're going to have phases anyway and we're certainly going to have phases in this division.

“So it's not that we need any reassurance, but of course last season we had phases probably at a similar time of year and some similarities of injuries and players missing through the winter period.

“We're now in a period of trying to integrate new signings into the team, which doesn't happen overnight and I don't think you'll see us at our fullest in terms of that integration within one week.

“So we're trying to do that while getting players back from injury and have as healthy a squad as we possibly can.

“Also continuing to compete in a really tough division where every game is difficult and compete at times where things go against you like they did last week with two decisions, and also an element of last week playing on a difficult football pitch to play football on, so there are lots of things you can take.

“For us, we knew going into the season there were going to be spells where you don't win as many games.

“That's why we're pretty consistent in terms of sticking to the day-to-day work, doing the right things in the right attitude and culture in the building, which I'm seeing and enjoying our work day-to-day and looking forward to taking each game as it comes. That's what we've done last year and what we're continuing to do this year.”

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bobbyramsey added 15:40 - Feb 9
So do we get a two goal start against WBA?

Suffolkboy added 15:49 - Feb 9
ITFC have an exceptional team in Management from the very top down ,and well backed by steadfast enthusiastic owners .
Our Football Mgr and his Co- hort are just a revelation ; in a world of popular and journalistic pressure they reflect everything that’s good about standards and human values . It would be so easy to become vitriolic about on field officiating errors which have wrongly influenced outcomes ; BUT none of it ,just a quiet acknowledgement made public after a few days ,and a determination to address some of the underlying weaknesses over which we can have real influence !
Great Management by example , super standards which do represent ITFC in the best light !

DannyITFC added 15:59 - Feb 9
It’s all very well officials offering apologies but it won’t cancel out the two goals and give us the 3 points we should have? This could be costly come end of the season so let’s hope we have some luck soon as I don’t recall us being gifted goals by officials this season effecting a result by 3 points.

thevoiceofreason added 15:59 - Feb 9
Well that’s alright then! I believe these were Premiership officials. If that is the case, should they be officiating in games with no VAR? They have become totally reliant on it, as witnessed last Saturday.

Europablue added 16:04 - Feb 9
I'll send a self-addressed envelope to the FA and await our three points in the post, then.

Lightningboy added 16:04 - Feb 9
Too late.

The standard of refereeing across our 4 leagues is at an all time low - think that guy & the linesman last week are just an example of how lazy officials have become from an over-reliance on VAR.

As bad as the decisions (have always been) I still would love to see the back of VAR's killing the joy of the game.

FromIpswichToPhoenix added 16:10 - Feb 9
An apology without change or action is manipulation. It doesn't get us the three points lost due to poor officiating. If they are going to make a statement, take action to back it up, or stay quiet.

trncbluearmy added 16:17 - Feb 9
The time will come when a club threatens these useless officials with legal action
There blatant errors cost Town 3 points

The game should be replayed

December1963 added 16:28 - Feb 9
You can add to that Maidstone’s second goal the week before when JS had his shirt nearly ripped off his back causing him to lose possession right under the refs nose.

terryf added 16:28 - Feb 9
It doesn't alter the result unfortunately but at least the Officials had the decency to admit that Preston's first two goals should have been disallowed.
Sadly due to various factors over the past few games we haven't hit the heights we enjoyed early on, but with our new recruits and seventeen games to go I strongly fancy us to be in the mix come May.

Hanser added 16:34 - Feb 9
As much as those goals and the loss hurt, I'm sure we've benefited from plenty of incorrect decisions in the past. Credit to the officials for apologising; they will feel sorry to have got it wrong too. We just need to get over it and look forward to the next match and play so well that the decisions don't matter

TractorfactorSteve added 16:44 - Feb 9
The match officials are a part of the game along with the players. They all make errors.

OldFart71 added 16:54 - Feb 9
They say things even themselves out. I don't see much of it as far as Town are concerned. Penalties against, but very few given. Player booked whilst other teams commit equally as bad a foul but don't get card. Not sour grapes, just stating facts. Town have done really well so far, it will be a shame if officialdom ruins our chances. We don't expect privileges, just fairness.

1960H added 17:48 - Feb 9
A bit late now, their incompetence in my opinion cost us the game!

waldenblue7 added 19:10 - Feb 9
Frighteningly Graham Scott’s a Premiership ref….

ThaiBlue added 19:29 - Feb 9
2 blooming late 2 be fair.

brittaniaman added 19:53 - Feb 9
VAR sometimes cab be cruel especially when recently Avery good goal was scored but Disallowed because the players TOE was OFFSIDE

Barty added 21:18 - Feb 9
That just rubs salt into the wound.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 07:57 - Feb 10
After an apology from the officials - a pretty rare thing, I should imagine, so some credit to them - it would be strange if K McK didn't comment on the two decisions in question. But what I admire is that he simply comments and doesn't harp on in the usual one-sided "we wuz robbed" mode that 95% of managers seem to adopt. We were unlucky. But we put it behind us and move on!

Europablue added 08:51 - Feb 10
trncbluearmy It would open up a whole can of worms if they replayed games with bad decisions. The result has to stand, but there also have to be some consequences for the officials too.

BeattiesBackPocket added 11:35 - Feb 10
Anyone could see the clear foul and the offside wasn’t even close and unfortunately both goals killed that first half for us. I can’t believe people moan about VAR in the prem they should try putting up with the officiating in league one and the championship.

Cervantes added 11:56 - Feb 10
They were both terrible decisions but I can remember us getting away with strong penalty shouts earlier in the season. Unfortunately, officials will make errors and many of the Prem officials just let things go, hoping that VAR will correct it later. I don't think that officials that are, routinely, relying on VAR should officiate a non-VAR game.

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