Derby County boss Paul Warne has revealed referee Charles Breakspear apologised to Harvey White on the pitch if he got the penalty decision wrong against Plymouth Argyle.
Derby County fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday night.
The Rams were sent home empty handed despite taking the lead through Nathaniel Mendez-Laing’s early goal. However, the Pilgrims rallied in the second half, first equalising through Callum Wright before Ryan Hardie converted a dubiously-given penalty with 20 minutes left.
Finn Azaz was judged to have been fouled by referee Breakspear but certainly appeared to go down softly under Harvey White’s challenge. Now, Rams boss Warne has revealed the referee’s mid-game message to White after giving the spot-kick.
Speaking after the game (quotes via Derbyshire Live), Warne said Breakspear told the midfielder he was sorry if he got it wrong, admitting the words only wound him up more. He said:
“I thought [the penalty] was weak.
“He said to the player I am sorry if I have got that wrong. That has wound me up even more. But in games like this you can’t guess.”
In the tight race to return to the Championship, fine margins like a refereeing decision could have huge implications. The three points ensured Plymouth Argyle maintained a five-point gap to Ipswich Town and while Sheffield Wednesday have two games in hand, the Pilgrims are now level on 75 points with the Owls.
As for Derby, the defeat means they’ve dropped to 6th behind Barnsley and are only four points ahead of 7th placed Wycombe Wanderers. Again, the Rams have games in hand, but it only serves to apply more pressure in the tense fight for promotion.
After their defeat on Tuesday night, Derby County will be determined to bounce back to winning ways against Oxford United, who are still without a manager after parting ways with Karl Robinson.