Archive - Thursday, 18 May 2000
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'We've only got ourselves to blame' - says Bergsson
GUDNI Bergsson admitted today that Wanderers must take their share of the blame for failing in their promotion bid. The club captain was critical of referee Barry Knight after last night's 5-3 defeat at Ipswich but insisted: "We should have shown a bit more discipline at times.
"The referee played his part, I just think he never really got to grips with it to be honest. He gave three penalties and two of them were really harsh and played such a vital part in the outcome of the game.
"He was showing yellow cards and giving penalties for fun but the biggest blame of all is our own.
"We should have got to the final but it didn't happen and we've only got ourselves to blame."
Bergsson was one of only four Bolton players not booked as Mr Knight showed 12 yellow cards and two reds in a one-sided disciplinary crackdown that left Ipswich - 7-5 aggregate winners of the play-off semi-final - with a clean bill of health. Conceded leads
But Bergsson highlighted the chance that could have settled the issue five minutes from the end of normal time with Wanderers leading 3-2 on the night.
"Claus Jensen had a great chance towards the end to make it 4-2," he recalled of one of the game's major turning points. "I don't think they were really troubling us. I thought we would definitely keep it at 3-2 but you can't get away from the fact that we have conceded leads time and time again in this tie."
Paul Ritchie - who conceded two of the three penalties Ipswich were awarded - desribed Mr Knight's performance as: "An absolute disgrace".
"To be so close and to be let down by one person ... to say we are disappointed is an understatement.
"I was involved in two of the penalties but they were never penalties in a month of Sundays. The first was a clean tackle and on the second one, Jussi (Jaaskelaien) had the ball in his hands as I turned away with David Johnson. I grabbed him and he went over but he said himself it wasn't a penalty."
Jubilant Ipswich player-coach Tony Mowbray described the referee's performance as "bizarre" but said Wanderers contributed to their own downfall.
"I'm sure there's frustration on the other side. Football's a passionate game and the second penalty stirred a few emotions out there," he said. "I wouldn't want the ref's job.
"But ultimately they lost their discipline, which lost them the game. They are a good, good side and I'm sure their game plan was working a treat.
"Whether it's down to the ref or not is immaterial."