Hughes Has Sympathy With Pulis

By Footymad News
Last updated : 27 November 2010

The Fulham boss sends his side out at Stamford Bridge tonight hoping referee Martin Atkinson is not influenced by the big-match atmosphere.

Atkinson came under fire from Stoke manager Tony Pulis for his handling of Stoke's 2-0 defeat at Sunderland at the weekend when he failed to give a penalty when Lee Cattermole clearly handled the ball on the goal-line.

It led to Pulis saying the worst referees should be relegated from the Premier League.

Hughes would not go that far, but he said: "Do big clubs get the benefit of decisions? As a player at Manchester United I would have said absolutely not. But as a manager going up against the so-called 'Big Four' clubs, I have a different view, possibly.

"There's a natural tendency, it's human nature. Sometimes the consequences of giving a decision against a big side are too much for some referees to take. It's difficult for them.

"There's no way I'm questioning the integrity because it's split-second decisions and it's human nature sometimes that you take the easy option."

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