Stoke City boss Mark Hughes still angry with Martin Atkinson Liverpool decision


Martin Atkinson failed to send Simon Mignolet off when Liverpool led Stoke 1-0

Martin Atkinson should not referee a Premier League fixture this weekend after making a “fundamental error” in midweek, said Stoke boss Mark Hughes.

Atkinson booked Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet for tripping Stoke striker Mame Diouf with the goal unguarded in Wednesday’s fixture.

Stoke were 1-0 down at the time but lost 3-0 and Hughes argued “everybody” knew it should have been a red card.

“I don’t see why he should be refereeing this weekend,” he added.

“My feelings reflect everybody else’s view: the referees who reviewed it since and everybody in the stadium, apart from one.

“Those are the decisions that frustrate me as a manager – and other managers.

“Why it wasn’t made I don’t know. It was a pretty straightforward decision in my view and it wasn’t made. It denied us an opportunity to have an advantage in terms of numbers. I am angry with that.”

Atkinson will take charge of Watford’s Premier League home game against Tottenham on Saturday.

In April 2016 the International Football Association Board (IFAB) voted in a rule change to abolish automatic red cards for players who accidentally commit a foul to deny a clear goalscoring chance.

The body decided that only deliberate fouls to prevent a goal would lead to a sending-off with offences such as holding, pulling or pushing, not playing the ball, serious foul play, violent conduct or deliberate handball all falling under this category.

Hughes’ side have now lost six of their last 10 Premier League matches and host second-from-bottom Swansea on Saturday.

The Potters are four points above the Welsh side and Hughes believes the game is must-win.

“It feels that way, to be honest.” said Hughes, 54. “Just for our own benefit and for those who watch us. We have to go out and get the results our performances deserve.”

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