'Had lost control at that point' - the full transcript as Portsmouth boss John Mousinho blasts referee Sunny Gill's handling of Lincoln match

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Pompey boss was one of 13 bookings during Pompey's 2-0 win at Lincoln on Saturday

John Mousinho has blasted match referee Sunny Gill’s officiating of Pompey’s 2-0 win at Lincoln on Saturday.

The irate Blues boss said he was ‘so, so disappointed’ with the match official’s handling of the game and at one point believed he had ‘lost control’ of the LNER Stadium fixture.

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Mousinho’s criticism followed an afternoon that saw Gill produce 13 yellow cards. Seven of those were issued to Pompey players, while three were dished out to members of the Blues dugout. That included Mousinho himself - who was booked in the first half following an incident involving Myles Peart-Harris and Lincoln’s Ben House - plus his assistant, Jon Harley, and goalkeeping coach Joe Prodomo.

Pompey fans on X, formerly Twitter, didn’t hold back on their verdicts as Gill’s performance came in for sharp scrutiny. A disallowed Pompey goal in the first half when Lincoln keeper Lukas Jensen collided with Colby Bishop raised a few eyebrows.

And that’s an approach Mousinho adopted at the final whistle when he was asked about the ref’s display.

He was clearly still reeling from what he witnessed when BBC Radio Solent’s Andy Moon joked that Zesh Rehman was the only member of the Pompey coaching team not to get booked. Yet, that prompted a one-minute, 39-second rant from Mousinho as he aired his frustrations.

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Here’s the full transcript of what he said, which can also be heard in full here.

‘We’re not particularly thrilled with our behaviour or the fact we got the yellow cards,’ admitted Mousinho.

‘It’s difficult here at Lincoln (where the distance between the technical areas is bigger than most grounds) because we’re encouraged to talk to the fourth officials, but then we’re told we can’t come out of our technical areas.

‘So there were two decisions in the first half, very early on. One on Jack Sparkes in front of the away fans and one then where their left-sided centre-back just caught the ball and then for some bizarre reason it was given as a foul against us.

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‘I walked to go talk to the fourth official and he said “that’s your last warning, you’re going to have to stay in your technical area”. And then I got booked for trying to calm Myles down, which I think is absolutely bizarre because I thought the referee had lost complete control of the game at that point. 

‘He’s booked me for going on the pitch - I saw the entire Lincoln staff on the pitch at various times during the game. I just don’t get it, there’s no consistency whatsoever, no consistency.

‘What summed it up for me, which summed up the whole day, was when their goalkeeper went down in the first half. The referee has stopped play and we’ve got the ball in the back of the net - he’s stopped play, the goalkeeper’s went down!

‘When Will (Norris) has gone down in the second half, he’s let play go on. What on earth am I supposed to do with that? What on earth am I supposed to say to my staff who are incensed because they want to win the game? 

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‘I don’t know about Joe’s booking, but Jon Harley’s booking was because it was a free pass in the second half for Lincoln to go and do whatever they wanted to our players. The referee has decided not to book their player in the corner, it was a ridiculous decision.

‘Of course,  we have to be better as a staff. I think that translates onto the pitch and we’ll take a look at ourselves. But I think whenever you have three staff booked, there’s two ways you look at it - we definitely need to take more responsibility but there was a reason for it and I was so, so disappointed with the referee’s performance today.’

In March, Gill will become the first British South Asian to referee a Premier League match, when he took charge of the Crystal Palace v Luton game.

In the 47 games he’s officiated this term, the 39-year-old has issued 180 yellow cards and sent six players off. Saturday’s game was his second involving the Blues this term. He referred the goalless draw at Exeter back in December - a fixture that saw three yellow cards issued.

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