Officials decisions are criticised by Derby County manager Nigel Clough after Sheffield Wednesday hit back for a draw
NIGEL Clough felt key decisions went against his Derby County team in the 2-2 draw against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
Derby built a two-goal lead thanks to Jeff Hendrick and Jamie Ward, who dispatched a penalty three minutes after half-time for his eighth goal in only 14 appearances this season.
Wednesday pulled a goal back through Michail Antonio after 51 minutes before Miguel Llera headed an equaliser six minutes later.
But Clough felt there were fouls in the build-up to both of Wednesday's goals.
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"Given we had a 2-0 lead, it might be a couple of points dropped but it is still a good point," said the manager.
"We were happy with the performance and a lot of things we did but we are unhappy with the two goals we conceded in terms of the decisions.
"Adam Legzdins came in after the game and said he was blocked off as he tried to deal with a corner.
"Nine times out of 10 you see those given in favour of the goalkeeper. Unfortunately, not this time.
"On the second goal, we thought there was a foul when the long throw-in came in.
"But we will get a chance to look at the goals again and mark the referee accordingly."
Clough felt Wednesday's first goal was the turning point of the game.
"We just needed to hold the two-goal lead for five or 10 minutes," he said.
"We knew they were going to put us under pressure in the second half and put a lot of balls in the box.
"I thought we dealt with it but when the goalkeeper is fouled as he comes for the ball it is difficult to deal with it from there.
"If you can keep that two-goal lead for five or 10 minutes then the crowd gets restless.
"You don't necessarily have to play for five or 10 minutes, you just have to make sure you don't give anything away, corners and free kicks, and don't give the opposition any encouragement.
"But this is all part of the learning process for the youngsters."
Clough was delighted with the quality of Derby's opening goal, scored by Hendrick.
"It was a brilliant team goal, brilliant," he said.
"There would have been a few good goals scored at the weekend but probably not a better team goal.
"The ball bobbled around on the pitch and that made it difficult for both teams but the goal was excellent.
"Will Hughes played a lovely ball out to Craig Bryson. We had midfield runners and a one-two on the edge of the box before Jeff side-footed it in.
"We were very good in the first half. We started the game brilliantly with Jamie Ward having a shot after a minute which would have beaten a lot of keepers.
"I said to the players, start like that, go and get a goal in the first three or four minutes.
"We got two up and looked comfortable but you cannot legislate for the decisions.
"It is difficult to be critical of the players because they did not really do anything wrong."