Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson on THAT George Baldock incident

Roy Hodgson claimed George Baldock could have been sent-off for fouling Wilfried Zaha “time after time” during Sheffield United’s win over Crystal Palace, although he conceded his opinion could be influenced by the fact he manages and supports the London club.

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 9:18 am

Baldock spent much of the first-half walking a disciplinary tightrope after being cautioned for a foul on Zaha early in the match.

Referee Andy Madley stopped play again 10 minutes before the interval following another challenge between the pair but ignored the home players’ pleas to dismiss the United wing-back.

Hodgson, who later saw one of his own defenders - Joel Ward - shown a red card before Madley downgraded it to a yellow after consulting footage of the incident on a pitchside monitor, said: “I’m the Crystal Palace manager and a Crystal Palace fan. I watched the first 30 minutes, where they rarely got into our half of the field, and I saw (James) Tomkins get a yellow card for the first foul we were adjudged to have made.

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“I saw Wilf fouled time after time, which eventually led to a yellow card, and then I saw him fouled again and it’s not a yellow card so I think I’m entitled to say it could have been a red.

“But referees have got to make decisions and I’m definitely not nit-picking every decision.”

Ward’s reprieve came after the interval when he caught Enda Stevens as the pair both made legitimate attempts to win the ball.

After a pause in the game, Madley overturned his own decision after consulting with VAR officials Tim Robinson and Ian Hussin at Stockley Park.

Crystal Palace's manager Roy Hodgson during the Premier League match against Sheffield United at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: 1st February 2020: Paul Terry/Sportimage

Hodgson, suggesting he was not among those members of the footballing community in favour of introducing the system, said: “Football is ifs and buts right the way through. We try to make it an exact science but it’s a game.

“VAR came to the referee’s rescue. What bothers me about that is there are people in Stockley Park looking at that and not being sure, sending the referee to the screen.

“If it’s your job to see that with all the angles and you still think that’s a red card, or are sure it’s not, I’m worried about VAR.”