Watford chief Tom Cleverley admits referee frustation in Hull City stalemate

Watford interim head coach Tom Cleverley during the game with Hull City -Credit:Alan Walter/REX/Shutterstock
Watford interim head coach Tom Cleverley during the game with Hull City -Credit:Alan Walter/REX/Shutterstock

Watford interim manager Tom Cleverley felt disappointed by the performance of referee Ben Toner in their 0-0 draw with play-off chasing Hull City on Saturday.

Cleverley, who is still waiting for his first win at home since taking charge seven games ago, believes his side should have been given two spot kicks against the Tigers, who did have an early penalty of their own which saw goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann deny former Hornet man Ozan Tufan after just 10 minutes.

City themselves should have had a second half penalty when substitute Liam Delap was fouled, but Toner waved away those protests, while Tigers boss Liam Rosenior was booked in the second half, adding to the frustration of both managers in the performance from the official.

READ MORE: Liam Rosenior's yellow card underlines Hull City's growing frustrations amid play-off chase

"It was a bit stop-start," Cleverley said of the referee. "He got in the way a couple of times and listen, it is what it is. The one I'm disappointed about is the handball in the box, his hands are definitely not by his side, and he's trying to get it by his side, but he catches his hand when it's raised, and the other one is the clip on Yaser Asprilla. It's promoting players to have to go down to win the penalty.

"He's tried staying on his feet, being an honest lad and not got the foul for it, so, yes, that's a difficult one, but listen, we're looking at ourselves. We've not been hard done by, that is where we were last week. It's all about us to turn these draws into wins and no external excuses."

Cleverley also reserved praise for his goalkeeper who denied Tufan from the penalty spot before making a string of fine saves in the closing stages to thwart City as they pushed for a winning goal.

"Bachmann did well. He’s been excellent since I’ve come in," he continued. "He’s a top goalkeeper at this level, he has proven it at this level, he’s won promotion at this level. People are quick to jump on which parts of the game he’s not as strong at. But for shot stopping, you won’t find a better one in this division.

"The penalty was a fantastic save. I don’t know how much homework has gone into it. He’s shown his real worth today. I knew his worth after playing with him the last few years. Not only on the pitch but in the dressing room, he’s massive for me. I know he has come under a bit of unfair criticism but we know how important he is to the squad."