Carl Berry has been told by Michael Appleton Pompey’s clash with Oldham was ‘too big’ for him to handle.
The Blues boss delivered the stinging assessment after the referee’s controversial performance on Saturday.
Oldham left with a 1-0 victory, inflicting Pompey’s first Fratton Park defeat of the campaign.
Yet Berry stole the show with an abject performance during which he dished out two red cards and five yellows.
Jordan Obita was one of those sent off, while Oldham’s Cliff Byrne was mistakenly dismissed instead of team-mate Connor Brown.
The home fans booed off the Surrey official at the final whistle.
And Appleton, who after the game waited on the touchline to speak to Berry, was quick to criticise his part in the match.
He said: ‘The official lost the plot basically. I think he was bad for both sides, it wasn’t just Portsmouth.
‘I’ve seen Paul Dickov and Gerry Taggart going absolutely berserk on the sidelines because they were confused why the boy Byrne had been sent off.
‘He was giving cheap free-kicks away and the game was getting slowed down and slowed down and slowed down and that just played right into Oldham’s hands.
‘I think sometimes maybe the occasion or the game is too big for referees and they can’t really cope.
‘It takes a strong person and a strong referee to deal with the atmosphere at Fratton.
‘I told him I thought the game was a little too big to him. It was all there for all to see – I’m not making anything up. It was a tough day at the office for the ref.
‘Ironically, similar to last week, I didn’t really think there was a serious tackle or challenge in the whole game.
‘It was competitive but you never really saw a melee of players at any point.
‘The ref lost control. It became a farce at times.’
– NEIL ALLEN