Chris Wilder furious at referee over John Egan red card after Sheffield United's defeat to Newcastle United

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder criticised referee David Coote’s decision to show John Egan a red card during his team’s defeat at Newcastle, insisting the centre-half’s dismissal had changed the dynamic of the game.

By James Shield
Sunday, 21st June 2020, 6:36 pm
Chris Wilder, Manager of Sheffield United speaks with the officials at full-time during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Sheffield United at St. James Park  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Chris Wilder, Manager of Sheffield United speaks with the officials at full-time during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Sheffield United at St. James Park (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Although Wilder had no complaints about the second caution Egan received - hauling back Joelinton as the centre-forward powered towards the box - he felt the Republic of Ireland international was harshly treated after being book for a minor confrontation with the Brazilian during the opening period of the contest.

Insisting his opposite number Steve Bruce had also been surprised by how Coote chose to deal with the first tangle between the pair, Wilder said: “John tried to take a quick free-kick and their lad tried to stop it. I’ve got no problems with that, because it’s part and parcel of the game.

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Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United and Chris Wilder, Manager of Sheffield United interact following the Premier League match at St. James Park (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

“The ref pushes them away and both Steve and I were stunned that they got yellows for that. I think Steve will have been delighted in a sense though because he’ll have known, being in the position he’s in, that John will have been putting himself about much more than Joelinton.

“The game hasn’t changed that much and, if it has, then it’s in a worse place that it was before.”

Egan received his marching orders for another tangle with Joelinton soon after the restart. Newcastle took the lead soon afterwards, when the excellent Allan Saint-Maximin capitalised on a mistake by Enda Stevens before Matt Ritchie doubled the hosts’ advantage.

Although Wilder was disappointed by United’s defensive display - they arrived in the North-East having conceded only 25 goals all season - he argued Egan’s exit changed the dynamic of the contest.

“I thought we were in the game and had more to come in the second-half, “ Wilder said. I thought we had a couple more gears to go through, even though they had the stand-out chance. But the dynamics of the game completely changed when John went off and then the goal. Plus, the manner of the goal. “We’ve had to work hard for our defensive record and to give such a cheap goal away, and to keep doing it through the game, wasn’t good.”