Football - Grayson staggered by referee's blunder

Huddersfield manager Simon Grayson described referee Mick Russell's blunder in a full-blooded goalless Yorkshire derby with Sheffield Wednesday as "staggering" and called on the game's authorities to introduce post-match press conferences for officials.

PA Sport

Russell made a glaring error midway through the first half when he failed to send off Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Jeremy Helan for a second yellow-card offence.

Helan, on loan from Manchester City, was emerging as the game's outstanding player when he was booked by Russell for a 26th-minute foul on Huddersfield winger Adam Hammill.

But the Hertfordshire official did not realise he had already booked the Frenchman for diving in the penalty area in the ninth minute and despite animated reminders from Huddersfield players and the home bench, Russell restarted play with Helan still on the pitch amid chants of 'you don't know what you're doing'.

"As we came off the pitch he came to me to apologise for the error he made," said Grayson.

"I think he's probably written the wrong number down in his book, which is staggering and I also think he should have been helped by his officials, who should be overruling because they all know, when a referee makes a mistake like that, who he's booking.

"The lineman should be helping out. He's not done it deliberately, but you can't make major mistakes like that.

"He's put (Michail) Antonio's number in his book, but he was nowhere near the incident. I don't mind referee's making big mistakes in terms of tackles and sendings off, but something quite simple like that shouldn't be happening in Championship football.

"I'm not going to say Wednesday going down to 10 men would have guaranteed us winning the game, but it would have certainly helped us and what if the lad had gone on to score or created the winning goal? It would have been a massive talking point, which it is already."

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