Mauricio Pochettino insisted he was still glad Mark Clattenburg took charge of Saints’ game at West Ham despite admitting his frustration at some of the decisions that went against his side in their 3-1 defeat.
The highest profile of those led to West Ham’s first goal, writes ADAM LEITCH.
Saints were adamant Matt Jarvis was offside before finishing past Artur Boruc and, though it was tight, replays appeared to back them up.
However, no flag was raised and the goal was given.
Clattenburg was taking charge of a Saints game for the first time since the club reported him to the referee’s body, the PGMOL, and the FA over comments made to Adam Lallana in the defeat at Everton. Both bodies found there was no case to answer.
Pochettino, right, said: “The refereeing decisions actually influenced the game and we were unlucky in that sense.
“We are not going to make anything more of it.
“It seems that the stars are not with us whenever Mr Clattenburg referees for us.”
He added: “It’s clear that we are disappointed but I think that overall it’s a good thing he’s refereeing for us because we want to normalise the situation.
“We don’t want to make any big deal out of it or keep on rehashing the situation again.
“We want to help referees as much as we can because we know their job is quite hard and make things easier for them so they can make the best decisions in every game for us and for every single team.”
As well as a Saints comeback for Clattenburg, the defeat at West Ham also marked a return to the squad for Dejan Lovren and Gaston Ramirez.
The pair were both stretchered off in the league game at Sunderland on January 18 with ankle injuries.
Lovren was an unused sub at Upton Park while Ramirez looked sharp as he came off the bench in the second half.
“We will need to assess his fitness and also Gaston who actually came onto the pitch,” said Pochettino.
“They are both fully recovered but they will have to fight to get their place back in the team.”