Filed: Sunday, 23rd October 2005
By: Gordon Thrower
No prizes for guessing the chief topic of conversation for 'Boro boss Steve McClaren at this afternoon's post match press conference...
Steve McClaren – Middlesbrough FC
Disappointed? I was devastated with that decision. It was a big decision. It was a wrong decision and ultimately it’s cost us the game. I really don’t know how the linesman could have given it – where he was positioned it was an impossibility to give that kind of decision. You saw the reaction of all the players – including the West Ham players. They knew it wasn’t a goal. The only man in the stadium who could give a decision gave it. Was he influenced by other recent decisions like Shearer’s goal last week? I don’t think so. Whatever did go through his mind he was wrong.
I said to the players that there are things you can’t control. Referees’ decisions, linesmen’s decisions we can’t control them. But when it’s like that it’s harder to take. It’s cost us the game. I’ve got every sympathy with referees and linesmen in today’s game but this “over the line” question has had too many implications in recent seasons to be dismissed. We’ve got the technology to remove human error from decisions like that. They don’t have to be wrong. It can be sorted out in 20 seconds. I looked at it seconds after the incident and could see it wasn’t a goal. It would only take seconds. It must have been 3-4 minutes after the protests died down. Everything could have been solved by then. Other sports have exploited it – they’re using technology and if it helps you get the right result so be it. It didn’t get close. What can you do? You get rough decisions and you get some go your way. You have to take it with dignity. They got it wrong.
It was always going to be tough coming here – they have a good home record. We started well but had to adjust when we lost Southgate. He’s just tweaked his groin but he was always going to be a big loss to us. It took us 15 minutes to adjust during which we were under severe pressure. We survived and ended the half well. I said at half timethat if we could pass a bit better – the final ball – we’d have a chance in this game. I just said to them credit to them. Especially their attitude. Most teams would have been flattened by that goal but we came back and kept going to the end. By the end of the first half we had a totally re-organised defence so I have nothing but praise for the players. They’re feeling very sorry for themselves at the moment. We’ve got to bounce back from this – we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again.
Is there anything I can do to make my feelings known about the goal. Well I’m talking to you, I’ve just spoken to Sky and ITV so I think my feelings will be known! Kicking the cat? I haven’t got a cat so the dog had better watch ou
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