Ghana's No. 1

Wolves boss Lopetegui wants 'fairness not apologies'

Published on: 18 March 2023

Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui says he can "make a book" on decisions that have gone against his team since his arrival at Molineux.

Lopetegui was incensed at referee Michael Salisbury's decision not to award Wolves a first-half penalty in Saturday's defeat by Leeds, after Junior Firpo appeared to catch Nelson Semedo in the area.

The home side also felt Rodrigo's late goal should have been disallowed for a foul by Marc Roca on Adama Traore, after which unused substitute Matheus Nunes was sent off for remonstrating with the officials.

"The referee decisions until this moment [since my appointment] - it's incredible," Lopetegui told BBC Match of the Day.

"Maybe when you have the same mistakes a lot of times against you, it's not balanced. If you can't change the fairness, maybe we have to do better."

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Howard Webb, head of refereeing body PGMOL, apologised to the club earlier this week after Nick Pope's challenge on Raul Jimenez went unpunished during last weekend's 2-1 defeat by Newcastle at St James' Park.

Webb had already issued similar apologies in the aftermath of January's 2-2 FA Cup draw at Liverpool, in which Toti's late winner was controversially ruled out for offside, and after Wolves' quarter-final Carabao Cup exit at Nottingham Forest, during which Nunes was denied a penalty after appearing to be clipped by Serge Aurier.

"I'm not waiting for apologies, I want fairness," continued the former Real Madrid and Sevilla boss.

"I understand mistakes because it's human. I've seen the [potential] penalty against Nelson Semedo - he has a knee injury [because of the challenge] and [Junior Firpo] doesn't touch the ball.

"The referee has a fantastic view for TV. I don't know why he doesn't change the decision."

Wolves defender Jonny was sent off for a reckless challenge on Luke Ayling in the second half, before Nunes was given his marching orders deep into added time.

Unused substitute Matheus Nunes was sent off in second-half added time after remonstrating with the officials following Rodrigo's goal

Reflecting on Nunes' late dismissal, Lopetegui said: "It's not a red card. He was complaining about the linesman.

"It was a very clear foul for the fourth goal for Leeds. I've seen the same images that [the referee] has seen, but he said no.

"You can see the images. It's a pity."

The defeat leaves Wolves three points above the Premier League's bottom three in 13th place, but they have played a game more than the majority of their rivals at the foot of the Premier league table.

They return to action after the international break at fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest, who are just a point behind Wolves with a game in hand.

"I'm angry above all because we didn't deserve to lose," Lopetegui added. "Today it was very clear we missed a lot of chances. They [Leeds] scored with their only chance of the first half.

"In the second half we tried to continue in the same way but we conceded stupid goals.

"It's a bad time to analyse things. We have to focus on our next game."


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