We deserved to win, Royle
REFEREE Andy D'Urso was the centre of attention at Portman Road – and not surprisingly both managers viewed his performance differently.Ipswich Town boss Joe Royle said after his side beat a lowly Rotherham outfit that finished with nine men: "The referee did not have a bad day.
By Elvin King
REFEREE Andy D'Urso was the centre of attention at Portman Road – and not surprisingly both managers viewed his performance differently.
Ipswich Town boss Joe Royle said after his side beat a lowly Rotherham outfit that finished with nine men: "The referee did not have a bad day. He was faced with some difficult decisions to make."
Royle's opposite number Ronnie Moore countered: "We needed a decent referee. He had an easy decision to make to give us a penalty and send off Georges Santos.
"And he was at fault at the other end when he overlooked what was a clear penalty and then gave Ipswich one that wasn't. Two wrongs don't make a right."
D'Urso proved his usual controversial self when Ipswich were awarded a penalty when Chris Bart-Williams was tackled by Chris Sedgwick. Just 12 minutes later Santos appeared to bring Darren Byfield down more emphatically – and the official simply gave an Ipswich goal-kick.
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Royle added: "You could not argue with the result. We deserved the points against a side that is difficult to play against. They have been our bogey side.
"The main thing for us was to win and keep our run going. Four wins out of five is promotion form. Our passing was improved, although we were a bit nervous at times.
"We have five new players this season, and it takes time to bed-in. I am delighted how our midfield is knitting together although Chris Bart-Williams looked a bit leggy today after the travelling involved in three consecutive away matches.
"Shefki Kuqi worked hard, while I am pleased for Pablo Counago with his two goals and Jermaine Wright was my man of the match.
"We currently have a bit of a phobia about corners and free-kicks, but we did better this time with our central defenders having good matches.
"Darren Bent has a knee injury and will miss the game at Bradford City on Saturday anyway, as he has been selected for the England Under-21 squad."
Returning to the refereeing debate, Royle said: "I thought it was a penalty when Chris Swailes brought down Pablo Counago. The one the referee gave us did not look so clear-cut.
"And on first look I thought it was a spot-kick when Byfield crashed down. However, I am told that the video shows that there was no contact."
Moore – talked about as a replacement for George Burley in the Town hot seat 11 months ago – said he felt "gutted".
He stormed: "The game hinged on decisions by the referee. It was always going to be a tough match and we performed well. We are getting better, but luck deserted us at vital times.
"Mr D'Urso made mistakes over three penalty claims, but I do not blame him for us finishing the game with nine men.
"They were two decisions he got right. Martin McIntosh was incensed by the continual diving of the Ipswich number nine.
"As a foreign player he is likely to do that and it is no excuse for two clear yellow card offences.
"And Julien Baudet cannot go around grabbing people by the throat, even though he received a painful injury when Alan Mahon collided with him.
"We conceded a silly first goal, but Ipswich looked tense after we got back into the game at 1-1. Then the referee took over. Even when Ipswich had 11 against nine they were too nervous to venture forward.
"It is a pity the referee was not taking charge of one of his usual Premiership games."