No surprise to see Nigel Clough was asked once again today about the contribution of Keith Stroud and the other officials on Wednesday night.

The Burton boss and his players host Aston Villa tomorrow but that one goal defeat was still a major topic of discussion when he met the media.

Nigel Clough says that he was pleased for the match officials that ‘the decision wasn’t a game-defining one for them’ because it would have been ‘awful’ for Keith Stroud and his team of officials.

With reports that the match could have been played again if Newcastle hadn’t still won the game, Clough declares that it would ‘have been particularly galling if we’d have had to replay it after getting a 0-0!’.

The referees union (PGMOL) released an apology on behalf of the match officials straight after the match and the Burton boss says that this ‘speaks volumes’ for them – but to be fair after making such a basic obvious mistake if they hadn’t made a statement/apology then it would have been even more amazing than the actual blunder.

Nigel Clough says he hopes there isn’t too much punishment beyond the fact that all four officials have been removed from their games this weekend.

Having come across both the referee and fourth official regularly in the past, Clough says he doesn’t think it changes the fact that they are still ‘good officials’.

I think almost fifty thousand paying customers might have a different view and safe to say we surely won’t be seeing any of these clowns at St James Park in the future.

Nigel Clough:

“We have had Keith Stroud over the years and Tony Harrington (fourth official), they are both good officials.

“The fact that they have come out straight away and said there was a mistake, I think that speaks volumes for them.

“I hope people just accept that and they move on. They are both good officials. I have got no problem with them – they made their mistake, they put their hands up and you move on.

 “It would have been particularly galling if we’d have had to replay it after getting a 0-0!

“But I was pleased that the decision wasn’t a game-defining one for them, because that would have been awful for the officials.

“We are as critical as anybody at times but once they come out and say, ‘yes, we made the mistake’, that’s it, you move on.

“Everybody makes mistakes but the fact they admitted it, within an hour of the game, let’s move on. I hope they are not punished for it too much.

“Newcastle got the three points anyway. Yes, it didn’t look very good, but come on, let’s get on with it. They are still good officials.”