Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray slams referee's display in his side's draw with Huddersfield

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‘I don’t know what game the officials watched’: Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray accuses referee Keith Stroud of ‘trying to be too clever’ after his side were denied a penalty in their 0-0 draw with Huddersfield

  • Blackburn were held to a 0-0 draw by Huddersfield at Ewood Park on Sunday
  • Tony Mowbray’s side still move into the top two despite the goalless stalemate
  • Mowbray felt his team should have been awarded a penalty in the first half
  • He also questioned other decisions made by referee Keith Stroud in the game 


Tony Mowbray still had reason to smile even after Blackburn’s six-match winning streak came to an end – until someone mentioned Keith Stroud.

Mowbray saw his Rovers side climb into the Championship automatic promotion places with a scrappy goalless draw against a determined Huddersfield side.

The Blackburn manager was proud of the way his players stuck at it on a saturated pitch that made passing the ball a lottery, but he was less than thrilled with referee Stroud’s display.

Tony Mowbray could not hide his frustration during Blackburn's draw with Huddersfield

Tony Mowbray could not hide his frustration during Blackburn’s draw with Huddersfield

Stroud refused Ben Brereton Diaz a first-half penalty after a collision with Matty Pearson that began outside the penalty area and ended inside, and later showed Huddersfield’s Duane Holmes a yellow card for clattering into Tyrhys Dolan – with home fans and players calling for a red as the tackle was controversially replayed on Ewood Park’s big screen.

‘I don’t want to sit here and hammer the ref,’ Mowbray said. ‘I don’t know what game the officials watched, that’s all.

‘I’ve been involved in football since I was 16. That’s over 40 years. You’ve got to know when a foul’s a foul. You’ve got to know when somebody’s trying to con someone. Keith’s a pretty experienced referee, and yet I thought he got a lot wrong today.

‘I felt he was trying to be too clever. Like us, they watch the Premier League and they see the carnage going on with VAR. And so who knows now what a foul is and what isn’t?

‘I watched the Brereton penalty, and it’s two penalties, not one. If Ben goes down under the first challenge, it’s a penalty, and yet he stays on his feet. He’s punished for being an honest kid. Hopefully the referee is somewhere else next week, and messes them up, not us.’

Mowbray was booked by referee Keith Stroud for his protests during the game at Ewood Park

Mowbray was booked by referee Keith Stroud for his protests during the game at Ewood Park

It was a solid point for Huddersfield, who dug in to maintain their play-off push in the absence of head coach Carlos Corberan, forced to watch from home after testing positive for Covid-19 on New Year’s Eve.

They looked like being swamped in a fast Blackburn start as former Borussia Dortmund youth forward Reda Khadra raced away to smash a shot against the bar in the opening minutes.

But the visitors rallied, and Holmes was unlucky not to score midway through the first half when his close-range header from Harry Toffolo’s cross was scrambled clear by Blackburn keeper Thomas Kaminski.

Brereton Diaz never looked like adding to his 20-goal tally, suffering a rare day of frustration against Huddersfield’s well-organised back three.

Ben Brereton Diaz was unable to get on the scoresheet as Blackburn had to settle for a point

Ben Brereton Diaz was unable to get on the scoresheet as Blackburn had to settle for a point

But Rovers could still have nicked it late on when substitute Sam Gallagher glanced a corner towards goal, only for Sorba Thomas to clear off the line.

Huddersfield coach Danny Schofield, standing in for Corberan on the touchline, believed his boss would have been satisfied with the display.

‘Carlos is very demanding, very involved, so he’s always on the phone, preparing things and making sure the team’s well organised,’ Schofield said. ‘I think the team did him proud today.

‘I’ve not had a chance to speak to him yet, but I’ll be speaking to him in the car for about three-and-a-half hours on the way home.’

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