Neil Warnock called Simon Hooper’s decision to refuse Cardiff a first-half penalty against Watford “bizarre” and claimed that the Wiltshire referee had owned up to making a mistake after the game.
Cardiff’s hopes of avoiding Premier League relegation suffered a blow in a damaging 5-1 home defeat to in-form Watford, but the Hornets were only leading 1-0 when Josh Murphy was felled by Daryl Janmaat three minutes before half-time.
“When you play the game and you’re in football, you know how goals change games,” Cardiff manager Warnock said.
“There’s no excuse for getting battered five. They’re a good side but you can have confidence when you’re two or three up, knock it around.
“Going in 1-1 with our tails up and the crowd behind us it’s a different ball game.
“I still don’t understand, for whatever reason, that it’s not given. It’s bizarre.
“He (Hooper) is in a great position and unfortunately none of his linesman could help him. It’s the most straightforward one you’ll get.”
Warnock said the Video Assistant Referee system, which comes into force in the Premier League next season, would have reversed Hooper’s decision “in 30 seconds”.
“He said he’s seen it back on video and he’s made a mistake,” Warnock added.
“What do you say to that? It doesn’t help me when you get battered five.
“VAR would have solved that in 30 seconds, everybody on the pitch knew it was a penalty.
“Troy (Deeney) said it was a nailed-on penalty, so too (Adrian) Mariappa and all their staff on the touchline.
“I like Simon as a referee and he’s not done it on purpose, he’s upset himself about the situation.”