Nuno backs bizarre Nottingham Forest statement accusing Stuart Attwell of being a Luton supporter

Nuno Espirito Santo, the head coach of Nottingham Forest, is looking dejected after a defeat during the Premier League match between Everton and Nottingham Forest at Goodison Park in Liverpool, on April 21, 2024. (Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Nuno Espirito Santo, the head coach of Nottingham Forest, looks dejected after his side's damaging defeat to Everton -Credit:MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Nottingham Forest manager Nuno Espirito Santo declared that he shared the frustrations of his club’s officials that they have been hard done by when it comes to big decisions - and insisted his team should have been awarded three penalties against Everton in their 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park.

The Blues, who triumphed through goals by Idrissa Gueye and Dwight McNeil, have only been given two spot-kicks themselves all season. But Nuno reckoned the visitors should have had a trio in this contest alone.

Forest issued an extraordinary tweet from their club’s official account on the full-time whistle in which they stated: “Three extremely poor decisions – three penalties not given – which we simply cannot accept.

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“We warned the PGMOL that the VAR is a Luton fan before the game but they didn’t change him. Our patience has been tested multiple times. NFFC will now consider its options.”

Nuno said: “Yes I share the view because I saw the images. When we go back to the dressing room, we have access to the images and you can see it so clearly and you don’t understand why the decisions were against us.

“I think the situation with Gio Reyna in the first half is a clear one, the handball we can ask if it’s not but the ball goes to Chris Wood and there is another incident with Ashley Young. I share the feeling of the club because it’s not only this game, it’s been a while that we’ve had poor decisions against us. It’s not an excuse but we are not comfortable with the work of the referees.”

When asked to clarify whether that meant he believed Forest should have been given three penalties, the 50-year-old added: “Yes, because I saw it. The handball to Wood, touches the hand of Ashley (Young) but yes.”

In terms of VAR official Stuart Attwell supposedly being a fan of Luton Town, who are involved in a battle for survivalwith Everton and Nottingham Forest, Nuno said: “I’m aware of the complaint, that the club was not comfortable with the VAR. It is not important if he is a fan of another club or not, that’s not important.

“The VAR referees are sitting down in a chair, they have time to assess the images. We would like to understand why we are always on the end of bad decisions.”

Nuno was asked whether he’d spoken to on-the-field official Anthony Taylor but said: “Not yet but what’s the point? You go and speak to them but it’s a feeling of disappointment that we’re always getting punished.

“It’s difficult to control, especially with the players, with all this feeling. They felt they worked hard but didn’t get what they deserved, especially with the referees.”

The former Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur manager believed that Forest began brightly against Everton but felt they faded after the break. Nuno said: “I thought we started the game well. In the first moments, we were in control and dominant.

“We had chances and didn’t allow Everton to reach our box. Before the goal, I didn’t think they had one touch in the box so we were playing well and in control.

“It was direct play from Everton, set-pieces and we were able to control it and allow shots from outside the box. But then it became difficult and the second half was not so good.

“We had a chance for Morgan (Gibbs-White), a clear one, that could have got us level, but I felt that we didn’t play well enough to create problems. With the low block of Everton, it’s not about crossing because they are strong on that aspect… it was a tough, tough game.”