Reading manager Brian McDermott would back players over referee


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Reading boss Brian McDermott today revealed he would back his players if they made a complaint of abuse against a referee.

Chelsea last night when they made a formal allegation against Mark Clattenburg for using what they branded "inappropriate language" towards two of their players.

Clattenburg's alleged comments, reportedly used towards John Obi Mikel and Juan Mata during the Blues' acrimonious 3-2 Barclays Premier League defeat to Manchester United, are understood to have been interpreted as racist.

The referee last night promised to co-operate with any investigation.

McDermott was coy about whether Reading would take the same approach as Chelsea.

He said: "I'd go and talk to the referee, ask him the question. That's what I would do."

But pressed about whether he would back his players if they were determined to take the matter further, he added: "Generally, I'd always back my players, yeah."

Former Slough and Woking manager McDermott initially joked he had himself previously witnessed officials using inappropriate language during his career.

He said: "I was manager of a team in the Conference - of course!"

But he added: "No, is the answer to that, not particularly.

"Sometimes, referees would have what you would call banter and they try to join in with the players.

"In the heat of the moment, that might not come across too well.

"But I've not had anything like that, particularly, no."

Chelsea were also angry with Clattenburg last night for his decision to send off Fernando Torres for diving and his failure to disallow United's offside winner.

Controversial decisions also materially affected the outcome of two other crucial matches over the weekend and raised questions over the standard of officials.

"The problem is everything you do is highlighted to the nth degree," said McDermott, who had plenty to complain about himself in Reading's matches against Chelsea and Newcastle.

"I remember early on in the season when the linesman got it wrong for Torres, which has cost us. The referee got it wrong for the Demba Ba handball.

"They got it wrong for the QPR-Arsenal game on Saturday. The Liverpool-Everton game, the linesman's got that wrong.

"Listen, they're not deliberately making mistakes.

"It's so quick - the league is so quick - and you have to make instant decisions.

"It's all right for us - we've got the cameras and we can see it."