BITTERLY-DISAPPOINTED Leeds United head coach Neil Redfearn was left to rue a ‘poor decision’ by referee Kevin Wright in awarding Blackburn Rovers a controversial late penalty as the Whites dramatically went down 2-1 at Ewood Park.
Leeds were good value for a first-half lead thanks to Souleymane Doukara’s seventh goal of the season in the 33rd minute, only for two cheap concessions to turn the tables in front of almost 7,000 stunned travelling supporters.
A crazy concession on 71 minutes saw Rovers draw level when Marco Silvestri provided a horror moment in failing to make a routine clearance when racing out of goal, with Jordan Rhodes tucking the ball into an empty net.
Then, two minutes from time, Rovers, down to ten men when ex-Leeds junior Tom Cairney was dismissed following his second caution on 82 minutes, were awarded a penalty after ex-Whites striker Luke Varney went down in the box after what looked like minimal contact from Sam Byram.
Rhodes coolly sent Silvestri the wrong way for his second goal of the game and secure the Lancastrians an unlikely win.
Redfearn rued: “We deserved to win and I don’t think Blackburn deserved anything. We gave them the first goal and the second was never a penalty. Referees have to get these things right.
“It was a poor decision. At the time, it looked like a dive and I have seen the DVD and it’s not good for football.”
Despite being furious with the penalty award, Redfearn admitted Leeds were architects of their own downfall for the equaliser 19 minutes from time, when Silvestri produced a horror moment akin to the game at Cardiff when failed to clear when racing out and bundling into Liam Cooper.
Redfearn said: “I was very concerned about the mix-up for the first goal. It happened at Cardiff.
“It should have been managing the game for Blackburn and making it difficult for them. It’s part of the learning process for us.”
Redfearn took solace from the visitors’ performance for seventy minutes in front of the biggest travelling support in the Championship this season and despite the crushing nature of the defeat, he insists that he won’t give the chance for players heads to be down after the demoralising nature of the loss.
He added: “You look at the supporters and the way they got behind us and the way they enjoyed what happened. It was only that last little bit that has let everything down.
“But that was the most important bit. And we have got to get across the line, if we are to be successful and win things and get back in the Premier League, which we do. These things are happen.
“I won’t give them chance to get down and they are not allowed to get down because at the end of the day, they are in a privileged position and have got to pick themselves up and battle and fight and play good football against Derby and go and get a good result and that’s what we have got to do.”