Sheffield United hold talks with referee's chief following red card anger

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Constructive talks between Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder and Mike Riley, the head of the Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOB) have taken place amid concerns John Egan should not have been sent-off during the South Yorkshire club’s defeat by Aston Villa earlier this month.

As The Star revealed over the weekend, Wilder was informed Riley would be contacting him before United’s preparations for Sunday’s visit to Arsenal began in earnest after expressing his frustration with two decisions made by the referee during the match at Villa Park.

Although he was angry about the length of time John Lundstram was made to wait before subsequently missing the penalty United were awarded while the score was still deadlocked, the sight of Egan being dismissed for supposedly denying Ollie Watkins a clear goalscoring opportunity was a particular bone of contention for Wilder - who was then forced to enter the Yorkshire derby against Leeds without two of his most influential defenders - Jack O’Connell also being forced to miss the fixture following a recurrence of an old knee injury.

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United’s disappointment at referee Graham Scott’s interpretation of the tussle between Egan and Watkins less than a quarter-of-an-hour into a contest Villa went on to win 1-0 is likely to have been heightened by the sight of the former Brentford centre-forward being involved in an almost identical tussle with a Fulham player at Craven Cottage yesterday evening. Neither Watkins nor Michael Hector were cautioned by Stuart Attwell, who took charge of that contest.

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