Manuel Pellegrini: Man City boss says referees in England are 'good'

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
Andre Marriner and Manuel Pellegrini
Manuel Pellegrini says "no-one can win or lose the title on one refereeing decision"

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini says refereeing standards in England are "good", despite criticism from former officials and other managers.

Former referees' boss Keith Hackett said officiating in the Premier League was "bordering on appalling" over Christmas, but Pellegrini disagreed.

"No-one can win or lose the title on one refereeing decision," he said.

"Maybe they can lose one game but in another they can give you a penalty or a foul that is not a foul."

Chilean Pellegrini has managed Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga in Spain as well as several South American clubs.

"They can all make mistakes but it is very difficult to decide what happened in one second," he added.

"By repeating on TV in five or six angles, it is more easy to demonstrate what has happened. I think referees in England are good. I don't have any complaints."

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has been charged by the Football Association for claiming there is a "campaign" to influence referees' decisions against his side, while West Ham's Sam Allardyce and Swansea's Garry Monk have also spoken out against officials.

Hackett, who headed the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) until 2010, criticised Andre Marriner's "pretty poor performance" in the game between City and Everton in December.

City's match-winning penalty was questioned, whilst a bad challenge on Sergio Aguero by Seamus Coleman went unpunished.

C'mon ref! Managers' recent frustrations
"The officials clearly got it horribly wrong. Frustrated is an understatement. Baffled is more the feeling" -West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce on Alex Song's disallowed goal in last month's defeat by Arsenal.
"I am losing a little bit of faith. I'm limited on what I can say and I'm tired of it. It's hard when we are constantly getting decisions like this." - Swansea manager Garry Monk on Wayne Routledge red card v QPR.
"We were mainly talking about the referee. I hope there's no lip readers otherwise we're both in serious trouble" - Hull's Steve Bruce on his touchline chat with Jose Mourinho during the 2-0 loss to Chelsea in December.

Former Fifa referee Hackett claimed he counted "over 20 major errors" during the Christmas period and named five current top-flight referees who he felt should be demoted at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Pellegrini says he is happy to remain at City, despite being linked with a return to Spain as part of an overhaul at Barcelona.

"I am very happy," he said. "I have a contract for this year and one more. I hope I will continue."

Pellegrini, who has been linked with Swansea's Wilfried Bony, confirmed he is looking to sign an additional striker during the present transfer window.

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