Freedman wants full-time refs

PA Sport
Dougie Freedman was less than impressed by the refereeing in Bolton's match with Barnsley
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Dougie Freedman was less than impressed by the refereeing in Bolton's match with Barnsley

Bolton boss Dougie Freedman has called for full-time referees to be used in all npower Championship fixtures after his side was held to a 1-1 home draw by struggling Barnsley.

Referee Carl Berry penalised veteran Bolton forward Kevin Davies on several occasions and also blew up for a Barnsley foul towards the end of the first half when David Ngog would have been clear through on goal had advantage been played.

Asked to comment on Berry's display, Freedman refused to directly castigate the referee, but left no-one in any doubt as to his views on the standard of officiating.

"Until referees at this level, which is a very important level, are full-time, I can't criticise the referee," said the Scot. "The Premier League have got 18 full-time referees and that's the reason they're a lot better.

"Full-time is the way to go. They must be full-time trained, full-time fitness-wise and helped with things so they will understand the game more. I thought Kevin Davies was fantastic today but I just felt the referee didn't understand what he was doing. You can't blame him; you've got to blame the system.

"The poor guy has probably been asked to work all week to fend for his family and then he is asked to turn up in a stadium and make big decisions. It's unfair."

Freedman had mixed feelings regarding his team's performance after Kevin Davies' first-half strike was cancelled out by Craig Davies' 25-yarder. "With the opportunities we created I felt that we deserved to win, but if you don't take your opportunities then it becomes very difficult," added the Wanderers boss.

Barnsley boss Keith Hill was much happier after seeing his side claim a first point since October 23.

Referring to Bolton taking the lead against the run of play, Hill said: "It could have ebbed away at the little confidence we had, but it didn't and we looked strong in the second half.

"I'm really pleased with that and I just hope it gives the players a bit more confidence. We're happy with a point with respect to the results we've recently had. We can't complain and won't complain."

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