Doncaster Rovers: 'The Ferguson affect is certainly still around' claims Southend boss Phil Brown

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Southend United boss Phil Brown appeared to claim Rovers manager Darren Ferguson had a direct influence on the refereeing of Doncaster's 4-1 triumph at the Keepmoat.

Brown claimed Ferguson spoke to referee Darren Handley at half time and put pressure on the official in the second half.

The Rovers camp were furious at Handley's failure to send off Anthony Wordsworth for a kick out at Jordan Houghton, before the Southend midfielder scored the game's opening goal.

Although he said he felt Wordsworth should have been sent off, Brown embarked on a rant about Ferguson's influence.

"The one thing I will say is the Ferguson affect is certainly still around," Brown said.

"And I'm not talking about Sir Alex.

"Darren had a direct pop at the referee at half time and for me he crumbled, he crumbled under the weight of pressure.

"If he thought it was a red card he should have sent Woody off, end of story, and kept the game level in terms of his refereeing.

"But he didn't.

"He didn't send him off. He probably felt, having looked at it again, that it should have been a red card and I wouldn't have disagreed with him.

"We'd have gone down to ten men and I think we'd have got a more honest performance out of them. Certainly more of a hard working performance than what I did.

"The referee didn't do us any favours all ends up."

Ferguson could not help but laugh when recounting the referee's decision to not send off Wordsworth.

He said: "It seems the fourth official made the decision and the reason they have given is he didn't think it was a violent kick.

"It's the most bizarre sort of reason I've ever heard.

"He's kicked him right up the backside.

"It's a clear red card.

"The decision wasn't given and he goes up and scores."