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Coleman blasts "smug" ref

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Sunday Star


COVENTRY boss Chris Coleman yesterday accused ref Steve Bennett of being too friendly with the Chelsea players.

Coleman hit out after City’s 2-0 defeat at the Ricoh Arena saw Chelsea into the FA Cup semi-finals.

He said: “I was disappointed with Bennett all afternoon and his attitude to our players. He was too smug.

“My senior players said he was very friendly with the Chelsea boys. I know people respect great players and sometimes they can be in awe of them, but my boys were not happy.”

Coleman’s comments could now be the subject of FA action - and the Coventry boss admitted he had not bothered speaking to Bennett about his views.

He said: “What’s the point in speaking to him?”

Coleman was also unhappy at the way Didier Drogba and Alex re-entered play after being off the field for treatment, then immediately became involved in the build-up to Chelsea’s second goal.

“I was not happy with the way they re-entered the field then who scores Chelsea’s second goal straight away - Alex, even though it was a great strike.”

But Coleman seemed to miss Bennett waving to both Chelsea players that they could return to the pitch.

Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink said of the incident: “Players must wait for a free-kick or whatever to be taken if they have gone off for treatment, but this is something we need to discuss with the international board.

“I didn’t see whether they got a signal to come back on, but we were the ones disadvantaged to start with when we were having to defend a situation with two of our best headers of the ball off the field.”

I'm sure if Coventry had scored whilst Drogba and Alex were off the pitch his would be singing a different song. I was furious Bennett wouldnt let 2 of our best headers of the ball return to defend the long throw.

Once the set piece had been cleared Bennett did wave for them to return to play, it just happened that the ball went over that direction and Alex got stuck in before racing upfield to score. Thats justice imo.

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