Bruce 'feels sorry' for Attwell

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Wigan manager Steve Bruce does not believe referee Stuart Attwell is at the required standard after watching the official "ruin" his side's 1-0 defeat at home to West Ham.

The Warwickshire official, the youngest in the top flight at just 26, is in his maiden Premier League season but Bruce feels he has been fast-tracked too soon.

"I feel a bit sorry for him because in my opinion Mr Attwell is not ready to step up to the plate," he said.

Attwell had just one season refereeing in the Football League before being promoted last summer and he awarded the infamous "ghost goal" in the Watford and Reading match earlier this season.

On Wednesday night he sent off West Ham goalscorer Carlton Cole for two bookable offences and showed a red card to Wigan midfielder Lee Cattermole.

However, Bruce claims he should have dismissed Lucas Neill for a crunching challenge on Cattermole moments before the England Under-21 midfielder saw red.

"The game was ruined as a spectacle. Carlton Cole shouldn't have been sent off. Referee, use a bit of common sense," he added. "It had the makings of a decent game but how he sends someone off in the first half for something as petulant as that I don't know.

"Lucas Neill should have been off the pitch for his tackle, which was horrific, but because Mr Attwell has put himself under pressure from sending off Cole in the first half when the major decision needs to be made, he hasn't made it.

"That is the one we want to stamp out because that tackle is a horror tackle.

"I have no complaints about Cattermole, he was stupid and silly but he was incensed - and he has a good right to be."

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Carlton Cole
Lee Cattermole
Premier League
Steve Bruce
Lucas Neill
Wigan Athletic

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