I'm going to go and lock him in my car boot

Last updated : 13 December 2004 By Tony Scholes

Billy Davies saw his side put in a performance that he cannot be over happy with but he was more concerned with the referee’s performance than that of his own team.

“I think there is no doubt about it that we bossed the first half,” he said after the game but then added, “I was very disappointed in the referee’s performance I have to say.

“I thought we had a couple of penalties turned down and I thought the free kick just before half time was a very soft free kick.

“It was a wonderful finish from a top class player and you can see why clubs want to pay three quarters of a million pounds for him. He has got top quality and he goes and puts it into the back of the net.

“We deserved an awful lot more, especially with us dominating the game in the first half. The second half we came out and created a lot of chances and I thought we could have had at least one if not two penalty kicks and then we go and lose a very soft goal at the end.”

He was then back to the referee and had a dig at Robbie Blake as well when he said, “We have seen the players reaction and the one thing that we are all disappointed in was the free kick. Blake is a clever player and he knows how to con and to go about doing the right things.

“He is a very clever player with regards to getting soft free kicks and going down at the right times. We felt that it was very soft so we were disappointed overall with the referee’s performance.

“I said to the players at the end to keep their heads up because I thought we deserved an awful lot more there. Again decisions have gone against us and again we are not clinical enough in our finishing with regards to creating chances but our attitude and work rate was very good.

“I don’t want to sound as if I am moaning here but I am talking about facts and the facts are this, there were one or two decisions that could have gone for us that didn’t and from our performance overall I thought we deserved more from this game.”

It really does appear as though nothing has changed at Deepdale, the Weary Whinger lives on.

Steve Cotterill had been looking forward to his first Lancashire derby and he wasn’t disappointed. “To be fair, I thought it was excellent, better than I thought it would be,” he said after the Clarets had won it 2-0.

“Both sets of supporters were great and we were lucky enough to be on the winning side. It was a great game for the neutral, if there were any neutrals here today. It was end to end and there was a lot of energy shown by both sets of players.”

On to the free kick incident and he said, “Preston had a moan about the free kick at the end of the first half but I think we should have been more aggrieved in the first half, although they probably should have been in the second half. “

He was always going to have some words about that first goal and said, “Preston could have brought Lonergan and Gould back in goal alongside Ward and they still wouldn’t have stopped that. It doesn’t get any better than that, it was a phenomenal free kick.

“Everyone knows he strikes a lovely ball. I don’t know what it is he does, but he can strike the ball so well and as long as he keeps doing it for us we’ll be happy.

“His second goal was all about his persistence and that’s what our team is all about.”

Steve then spoke about the situation regarding Robbie Blake over the last two weeks with the three offers and the constant speculation.

“It has all caused a major disruption at our football club right from the board room to the training pitch,” he claimed. “Robbie though has kept his eye on the ball throughout it all. He has trained like a Trojan all week and I cannot give him enough credit.

“I thought he was our best player at Plymouth last week, and again this week, so we all thank him for that.

“He was talking to me earlier in the week and said he thought he was a better player now than last season and that I’ve made him a better person this season. Hopefully that can carry on here.”

And he ended by explaining how he would keep his captain.

“I’m going to go and lock him in my car boot now, I’ll keep him there until next Saturday and then let him play again and I’ll feed him through the exhaust pipe.”