Bring in video replays, demands Middlesbrough chief

Jonathan Woodgate: Upset by decisions.
Jonathan Woodgate: Upset by decisions.
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JONATHAN Woodgate has called for VAR to be introduced in the Championship after claiming his Middlesbrough side were robbed of two clear goals.

Ollie Watkins’s second-half strike settled things at the Riverside, but Woodgate was left raging at the officials’ decision to rule out two first-half efforts.

Ashley Fletcher was penalised for hands after a quick corner from Marvin Johnson ended with the ball in the net, but Woodgate claimed the final touch came off Brentford’s Julian Janvier, and replays suggest Fletcher was onside 14 minutes later as he raced on to Daniel Ayala’s through ball and lofted a shot over David Raya.

Video technology has been introduced into the Premier League this season, but it is still not in use in the Football League, something Woodgate thinks is a unjustifiable anomaly given the financial clout of the Championship.

Middlesbrough head coach Woodgate said: “It was two mistakes from the linesman in my view. Ashley Fletcher was two yards onside, and I mean two yards. I can’t understand how you can’t see that. Then after that, he gives a handball, and it wasn’t.

“My view is that VAR is in the Premier League, so why isn’t it in the Championship? Why? Is the Premier League more special than the Championship? Not in my eyes.

“This is a league we want to get out of, but big decisions don’t go your way, so I’m not happy about it. On the plus side, though, I thought my players were absolutely outstanding. Especially in the first half.”

Middlesbrough: Randolph, Howson, Ayala, Shotton, Coulson, Wing; Clayton (Dijksteel 75), McNair, Johnson (Browne 75), Assombalonga; Fletcher (Gestede 81). Unused substitutes: Tavernier, Saville, Bola, Pears.

Brentford: Raya, Jeanvier, Jansson, Pinnock (Luca Racic 72); Dalsgaard, Da Silva (Yearwood 88), Jensen, Henry, Canos (Mbeumo 81); Watkins, Marcondes. Unused substitutes: Forss, Valencia, Clarke, Daniels.

Referee: S Martin (Staffordshire).