Durkin admits mistake

Last updated : 11 January 2004 By Martyn Elliott

The official made the admission after watching a video of the incident, but stuck by his later decision to rule out a goal by the Red Devils’ Mikael Silvestre because of a foul on Andy O’Brien.

Nice to know that some referees are capable of admitting their errors, but it doesn’t actually help us take the points.

It’s probably best not to get too upset about it though and let it distract from a great all round team display, in which our players showed that they are capable of matching the top three sides as long as they believe they are good enough.

Here’s what the main protagonists had to say about the non-penalty incident:

Paul Durkin

"I was expecting the ball to be played upfield and it was rather a poor passback and I was caught quite a distance from play.

"I was just totally uncertain whether there had been any contact.

"Obviously now I have seen it on television there was a little bit of contact there and Newcastle can count themselves a little bit unlucky."

Alan Shearer

"We should have had a penalty and if I was playing in red I would have had a penalty.

"But it's too much to ask to give Alan Shearer a penalty at the Stretford End. I asked him 'why didn't you book me for diving if you didn't think it was a penalty?' and he said 'I didn't think you dived'. Work that one out."

Sir Bobby

"He (Durkin) is being honest and I applaud him for that. It has gone against us but you can't get everything.

"It was a big blow for us and looked as if Howard did catch Alan. It looked like a penalty."

Sir Alex Ferguson

"Having seen the video it was definitely a penalty, but we should have had a goal when Silvestre scored.

"But at least Durkin had the courage to come out and say he was wrong.

"If we had more of that then we'd have better refereeing.

"For our disallowed goal I think he was probably evening things out to get himself out of a hole."