Referees struggle to officiate at their best during the festive period as they are overworked, according to West Ham manager Sam Allardyce.

Anthony Taylor dismissed West Ham striker Carlton Cole and Everton's Darron Gibson during the Toffees' 2-1 win at Upton Park on Saturday but both red cards have since been rescinded following successful appeals. Allardyce reckons the pool of professional referees is not big enough to cope with the congested fixture schedule over Christmas.

"This is a difficult period for referees," he said.

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#Carlton Cole
#Football
#Hartlepool United
#Everton
#Darron Gibson