Date: 31st January 2009 at 10:02pm
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Roberto Martinez has risked the wrath of the FA by publically critiscing referee Steve Tanner’s handling of today’s game at St. Mary’s.

The usually mild mannered Spaniard believes Southampton were allowed to get away with an over the top physical approach to the game.

Referee Tanner did show a red card to Lee Molyneux in a 2-2 draw on the south coast, but Martinez believes that more should have followed him down the tunnel for an early bath.

An infuriated Martinez spoke to BBC Sport after the game:

‘Be physical but if you over step the line, you should get punished but Southampton got away with it,’ he said.

‘Football is a contract sport and it has to be physical, but there is a thin line and the referee needs to stamp his authority on the game – and he didn’t do that well.’

‘We should have seen the victory out as the equaliser we conceded was poor by our standards, we’re not going to hide from, but we should not have got into that situation.’

‘The game should have been over because there should have been another sending off.’

‘The table starts to affect performances at this stage of the season and some phases of their physicality was over the line.’

‘And there was an incident when the referee was going to send another player off but changed his mind because of the linesman – and that is disappointing. ‘The referee needs to judge those situations but it’s not the first time… My players didn’t get the protection that they deserve in football.’

‘We were a little disappointed ,we need a strong referee.’


The Swans will be hoping for a strong referee and the three points when they travel to London on Tuesday to face promotion chasing QPR.