Neil Warnock brandishes referee choice of Andrew Madley a 'disgrace' as Cardiff slip to defeat
Troy Deeney avoided punishment for a late challenge on Neil Etheridge
Last Updated: 15/12/18 11:40pm
Neil Warnock slammed the Premier League's choice of an inexperienced referee after his side's 3-2 defeat against Watford at Vicarage Road.
Andrew Madley, the older brother of former top-flight official Bobby, took charge of just his second Premier League match and first this season, failing to produce a yellow card throughout the contest.
Warnock believed Watford captain Troy Deeney should have been cautioned for a challenge on goalkeeper Neil Etheridge midway through the second-half, but Madley decided a free-kick was sufficient.
Late goals from Junior Hoilett and Bobby Reid proved in vain after Gerard Deulofeu, Jose Holebas and Domingos Quina had established a 3-0 lead for the hosts, but Warnock was more concerned with an incident which might have handed his team a numerical advantage.
He said: "Things didn't go our way. I think Troy should've been booked for the challenge on our goalkeeper. If that had been down the other end, there would've been five or six lads surrounding the referee.
"I thought he could've pulled out and the studs went up, but we've got an inexperienced referee, the first game he's had in the Premier League (this season). We've got Andre Marriner stood at the side of me. I think it's a disgrace.
"Why should we be an experiment? Is it just because it's Cardiff City? I don't accept that, I think it's poor today. I think an experienced ref would've done something about the challenge."
Cardiff remain four points outside the relegation zone after an 11th league defeat of the season, and they will have to defend better if they are to gain anything from their next outing at home to Manchester United.
Warnock will take heart from his side's spirited attempt to rescue a point in the final 10 minutes, however, as the search to add to their solitary point on the road this term continues.
Warnock added: "They never give up my lads, they're a good group. I'm disappointed with the goals conceded as they're all individual errors really that could've been prevented
"We know that if we keep in games, we've always got a chance. It's just that belief [we need] and we need to stop giving away stupid goals, especially away from home.
"We've got Leicester away and then Crystal Palace just after Christmas, so it'll be an interesting few games now."