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Swans Boss Steve Cooper Claims Four Howlers Ref Should Drop Three Divisions

Steve Cooper claimed referee Jeremy Simpson will be dropped three levels after making four big mistakes during Swansea City’ 1-1 draw at home to Blackburn Rovers.

The Swans manager gave both barrels to the experienced 44-year-old official who sent off a player from either side as the Swans’ winless run was extended to six matches.

As well as the two controversial dismissals, Cooper also felt Simpson had ignored a Swansea penalty claim for handball and got another call wrong when striker Sam Surridge was pushed in the penalty area.

Both sides had a man sent off in the second half as Swansea midfielder Tom Carroll and Blackburn forward Bradley Dack were banished for two bookable offences.

In a withering assessment of Simpson’s performance, Cooper said he expected the referee would be dropped down to the National League after his display was analysed with his bosses.

“I’ve seen the penalty decision back for handball and it’s just a massive error from the referee,” Cooper said.

“Because he knows he made the error he’s then made the poor red card decisions and he’s lost his composure really. I didn’t think either was a red card because I’ve looked at them back.

“He’s made four major decisions and he’s got them fundamentally wrong. I’m only being honest. I am criticising him, but I’m saying it as I thought at the time and I’ve seen the decisions back.

“I’ve been to see him as well.  He knew the ball hit his (Bradley Dack’s) hand so he said that but his hand isn’t next to him, it’s out. I get it if there are loads of players around him, but it’s travelled 15 yards before it has hit his hand.

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“He is going to be embarrassed when he sees it back on TV. He’ll probably be refereeing in the conference now.”

In the first half Andre Ayew cancelled out an opener from former Swan and now Blackburn striker Danny Graham as both teams ended the game with 10 men.

But it was the decisions of West Lancashire official Simpson which infuriated Cooper, while his opposite number Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray described the referee as “embarrassing.”

Cooper confirmed he thought Simpson had got the two second-half yellow cards for Carroll and Dack wrong. He also felt his team should have had penalties for the Dack handball and when Surridge was felled by Rovers defender Ryan Nyambe as Swansea pushed for a winner late on.

“Anywhere else on the pitch, it’s a penalty,” Cooper said of the Surridge incident as he continued attacking Simpson. “I think he lost composure because he knew he’d made some big errors. He was nervous. I was very respectable afterwards because I knew he was uncomfortable with his night.

“He’s a professional and I want him to progress, but we have to be honest and unfortunately he’s going to get marked down.”

Mowbray said: “I’ve seen it (on video) and it [Dack’s red card] is embarrassing really. I thought at the time he had stepped over the top of the ball and put his foot down on the boy’s foot. But no, he sticks his backside into the lad and the lad goes over.

“It would be so out of character for Dack to do anything like that. He’s got no malice in him whatsoever. It’s wrong to say, but it felt like he was evening things up.”

The contest tilted in Blackburn’s favour after 57 minutes when Carroll, booked in the first half for tripping Armstrong, was adjudged to have brought down Lewis Travis and saw red for the first time in his career.

The sides were evened up after 67 minutes when Dack brought down Grimes.


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