Paul Heckingbottom 'delighted' Sheffield United deemed to have been beneficiaries of bad VAR decision
This week the Premier League's Independent Key Match Incidents Panel reviewed controversial incidents from the weekend fixtures.
As their rulings have no impact on the outcome of games, and given the authorities insist the video assistant referee (VAR) system should not about re-referee games, it seems a slightly futile gesture which can only undermine officials.
Despite that, it has been reported the five-strong panel unanimously decided referee Rob Jones was wrong to give a penalty for Fabio Silva's challenge on George Baldock, which VAR Chris Kavanagh saw no "clear and obvious" reason to overturn.
Oliver Norwood converted the stoppage-time penalty to give Sheffield United a 2-1 victory, their first this season, and kick-off a string of controversial VAR rulings in the Premier League this weekend.
The involvement of VAR and the reaction from supporters and managers alike raised some troubling issues for the game but with his team in a relegation battle, Blades manager Heckingbottom is unashamedly selfish in how he views it.
He has long said he would like his team on the receiving end of an incorrect decision after feeling luck has gone against them so far. Whether it has turned with another injury for Rhian Brewster is open to debate, but it can potentially improve the mood further ahead of Sunday’s game at Brighton and Hove Albion.
"I'm delighted!" was Heckingbottom’s response when told of the panel's decision. "It's always subjective.
"With VAR we've probably slightly changed how referees referee the game, that's the point.
"While we're not overturning things when it's clear and obvious we're going to go with the referee the majority of the time. Referees should make the decisions, then it's more difficult to overturn, we accept that."
Heckingbottom has mixed views on VAR. His concern has always been it takes the edge off celebrations with goals having to be run past Stockley Park.
"If the question is are we getting more correct decisions I'd say in that respect it's working," he said. "The problem is, because we're looking at more and more things were getting more and more arguments about the subjective decisions.
"That's where we seem to be talking about it a lot more. Because the fans are talking about it, the media ask more questions and we (managers) constantly get asked about it.
"But managers have always complained if they think a decision's wrong, or tried to highlight it.
"When you're in it and living it, you just want the decision to go your way."
Whilst last week's game was still 0-0, Brewster suffered an injury which at first was not thought to be related to the hamstring problems that have dogged him throughout his Bramall Lane career but it has since emerged that is the case.
"Rhian's had a scan on his knee, the back of his hamstring, he's upset that slightly," said Heckingbottom.
"It's to be expected, he was going to get niggles now he's back playing. But we know how tough he is as a lad and he'll be fine."
Oli McBurnie and Anel Ahmedhodzic have trained this week but Heckingbottom says he will not take risks with either.