A third straight defeat for David Moyes and Manchester United in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg against Sunderland last night left David Moyes bemoaning his luck.

The Red Devils manager will know that the tie is far from over but consecutive losses in this fashion have not occurred for 13 years for the champions and inevitably results in growing pressure for the new boss.

Speaking to be BBCSport about the match officials, Moyes said: "It's really terrible, we're actually beginning to laugh at them."

The decision for a manager to publicly blame the referee for costing them points is nothing new and it could even be argued to be a positive for the dressing room as it pushes aside any questions about the teams ability.

Conversely, the idea of blaming officials is significantly overused to the point where the referees and assistants' ability is dramatically questioned.

One solution to the problem of managers openly criticising referees is for the match officials to have press duties to carry out themselves.

Fans might be interested to hear as to why Tom Cleverley's attempted challenge on Adam Johnson last night was adjudged to be a foul inside the penalty area by match official, Andre Marriner.

A short simple statement from the referee explaining why he felt it should be a foul may put to rest any mystery surrounding the penalty award and if nothing else, at least everybody can try to understand the verdict.

There will still, of course, be a debate as to whether it should or should not have been given which is part of the drama but a clear explanation from the referee may help clubs and fans everywhere with some closure.

Some may argue that raising the profile of referees in such a way will have negative connotations for the game making them into public figures even further and that an anonymous referee is a good referee.

Either way, an independent panel that assesses a referee and their assistants is a brilliant tool to credit them with good or poor performances and should not be up to naturally partisan club staff whether they officiate on one of their games in the future.

David Moyes prepares his team for a visiting Swansea on Saturday and with Manchester United five points adrift of a top four spot, a win is vital.

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