Ian Holloway could face action after criticising referee following Crystal Palace defeat to Tottenham

Holloway appeared to suggest his side hadn't been treated fairly

Ian Holloway could find himself in hot water with the Football Association this morning after he appeared to claim Crystal Palace will not be fairly treated by referees this season.

Palace's first top-flight appearance in eight years ended in defeat yesterday as they lost 1-0 to Tottenham thanks to Roberto Soldado's second-half penalty.

Holloway thought the spot-kick should not have been given because he felt Dean Moxey had no time to pull back his left arm to prevent Aaron Lennon's cross from hitting it.

But his real anger was reserved for the officials' failure to spot what he viewed as a deliberate foul by Nacer Chadli on Stephen Dobbie shortly before referee Mark Clattenburg awarded the penalty.

Holloway remonstrated with Clattenburg in the referee's office after the match and then went on to claim that Palace are unlikely to have a fair rub of the green this season in terms of refereeing decisions.

"I've got to learn what a foul is because I thought Nacer Chadli deliberately bodychecked Stephen Dobbie, smashed him down and ran off with the ball," the Palace boss told the BBC.

"If the referee didn't see that, the assistant should have. You have to ask if he's good enough if he didn't see that. I don't see how he can miss it.

"It's going to be a long hard season for me with these people (referees). I had this with Blackpool.

"Certain clubs get fouls and others don't. Tottenham will feel that if they play Man United.

"Do I think I would have got that at Tottenham? No I don't. I just want a bit of fairness.

"I want a foul like anyone else would have got one. I've got a horrible taste in my mouth after that."

Holloway then lashed out at the assistant again in his post-match press conference, which began an hour and half after the end of the match.

"It's not the referee's fault, it's the bloke who stood right where I was, the linesman," Holloway said.

"We have got professional refs, we haven't got professional linesmen.

"I can't believe he didn't see it. I had better learn what a foul is in this division."

Should the FA decide Holloway has questioned the integrity of the match officials, he will be charged with misconduct.

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas disagreed with his opposite number's comments, describing the penalty as "clear cut".

Although his new-look team took time to get going in the first half, Villas-Boas was happy with the victory in which four Spurs players made their debuts.

Villas-Boas refused to comment on the future of Real Madrid target Gareth Bale, but revealed that the foot injury that forced the Wales winger to miss today's victory will sideline him for two further matches.

The Portuguese was pleased with the performance of new signings Soldado, Paulinho, Chadli and second-half substitute Etienne Capoue.

"Bearing in mind that for all of them the Premier League is a different proposition in terms of intensity and passion, I think they did extremely well so I am extremely pleased with that," he said.

PA

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