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Pep Guardiola hits back at Nottingham Forest statement questioning Premier League refereeing integrity



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has hit back at Nottingham Forest’s statement questioning the integrity of Premier League officiating this week.

In a release on social media that has now been viewed over 44 million times since Saturday evening, Nottingham Forest lashed out at the officiating performance in their defeat to Everton at Goodison Park.

While it is now understood that the Premier League and Football Association are questioning the comments, the words included within the statement are still being scrutinised and analysed by many in the game.

Forest stated, “Three extremely poor decisions – three penalties not given – which we simply cannot accept. We warned the PGMOL that the VAR (Stuart Attwell) is a Luton fan before the game but they didn’t change him.

“Our patience has been tested multiple times. NFFC will now consider its options.”

Now, speaking as part of his pre-match press conference ahead of Manchester City’s trip to face Brighton & Hove Albion, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insists that he “absolutely disagrees” with the statement issued by Nottingham Forest over the weekend.

“Always there are big, big, I would say in every league in the world, these kind of things today happen more and more. But of course, never doubt about that (Premier League referees’ integrity),” said Pep Guardiola.

“Absolutely not. Referees want to do the job as best as possible, of course, they feel the pressure, we put pressure as the managers on them that it’s for the passion of the game, for the moment, but when I sit here and reflect and afterwards, they try to do their best.”

Guardiola continued, “They are scrutinised, the cameras are there. When they make a mistake, they feel bad, it’s normal. Of course, when they do the job, they want to do it well.

“It’s a game that is so difficult, complicated, it’s fast, it’s quick, the decision has to be made in one instance, it’s not easy going.”

The City boss was then quizzed on whether Premier League clubs, as a collective, need to have a better reaction to referees, to which Guardiola responded, “I talk with my club, and my club absolutely we are. We are here to do our job, accepting our mistakes and our problems.”

Manchester City travel to face Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Thursday night, before turning their attentions to a clash against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground, when tempers are likely to be at their highest from the home side.