Joey Barton claims Portsmouth manager tried to get Bristol Rovers player sent off

“It is a foul and it is probably a yellow card.”

Joey Barton believes that Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley tried to get Bristol Rovers midfielder Glenn Whelan sent off.

The Gas suffered a 3-1 defeat at Fratton Park yesterday with Aaron Collins getting his side back on level terms before Joe Piggott and Owen Dale consigned them to defeat.

Piggott’s goal came through a penalty kick in which Harry Anderson fouled the penalty taker in the last ten minutes of the match.

There was a decision earlier on in the match however in which Collins had collided with Pompey defender Joe Rafferty in the box. Much to the Rovers’ scorer’s frustration, slapping the ground in anger, referee Gavin Ward did not award the penalty.

Collins’ penalty appeal came in front of the travelling contingent meanwhile Piggott was in front of Portsmouth’s most vocal end for atmosphere.

It was a decision that left Barton bewildered as to why his side weren’t given a spot-kick, which ultimately ended up impacting the result of the match.

Commenting on the decision, he said: “I can’t tell the difference between the two of them, honestly. If anything there is more contact from Rafferty on Azza.

“We didn’t have a Fratton End shouting for it and people affected by it by the stadium.”

The match official had a number of key decisions to contend with such as the potential dismissal of Glenn Whelan.

A flashpoint in the first-half saw the experienced midfielder foul Louis Thompson right in front of both managers.

Thompson was stretchered off and received lengthy treatment, which made for seven minutes of additional time in the first period.

Barton was at a vantage point when the incident took place but was unimpressed by the actions of the opposition manager Danny Cowley.

Cowley, who went through the unconventional route of coaching after a playing career was ended through injury, was worried about the state of his player.

Barton however believed that the 43-year-old was pleading his case to the officials to get the Rovers player-coach sent off.

“I just felt the referee today was really poor for us, every decision he decided to give to them,” he added.

“I think it stems from the nonsense out of the manager and the assistant. I was in the stand but I could hear them trying to get Glenn Whelan sent off for a competitive tackle on the edge of the touchline.

“They are screaming and jumping up, maybe it’s because they have never played football. They think that’s how you are meant to behave, it shouldn’t be as an opposition manager screaming to get a 91-capped international dismissed from the pitch when he has clearly made contact with the ball.

“It is a foul and it is probably a yellow card.”

Cowley’s own views on the matter were more for the status of the player, who had to receive an oxygen mask.

He said to The News: “Glenn Whelan is an excellent professional and I don’t think for one minute he meant to do it.”

He described it as a ‘nasty one’ and may have an injury relating to the tibia and fibula with the worst feared from the initial impact.