BY DARREN JOHNSTONE – Capital City Press
Dunfermline manager Allan Johnston has become the latest boss to raise concerns over the standard of Scottish refereeing as he counts the cost of losing two defenders to leg breaks in the space of a month.
Johnston has spoken to Scottish FA Head of Referee Development John Fleming after both Callum Fordyce and Ryan Williamson sustained horrific injuries in challenges that were not even regarded as fouls
Captain Callum Fordyce is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a leg fracture, breaking his nose and dislocating his ankle in last weekend’s defeat to Ayr United.
Just weeks earlier fellow defender Williamson also had to be carted off in the League Cup win over Forfar.
In the wake of both Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson and Inverness manager John Hughes being cited by the SFA over comments made about officials, Johnston is also furious by the lack of protection given to his players.
He said: “I’ve spoken to John Fleming just to get his thoughts on what’s happening and the standard of refereeing as well – it’s boys’ careers at stake.
“Nobody wants to see these types of challenges either. There was not even a foul for the challenge on Callum, and it was the same with Ryan Williamson as well.
“It is extremely disappointing when you lose two quality young players to two poor challenges.
“Callum broke his nose earlier in the game, he dislocated his ankle and fractured his leg as well.
“It’s a bad one and in all my time in football I don’t think I’ve seen that. I’ve been involved for 25 years and that’s two leg breaks we’ve had. I don’t think I’ve had one before that.
“Callum is going to be a big loss as is Ryan – it’s a sickener to lose two players of that quality.”
Johnston, whose side will bid to bounce back at Stenhousemuir tomorrow, is trying to add defensive cover to his squad.
He added: “We’re trying to bring someone else in, we desperately need defenders.
“Whether they will be in for this weekend I’m not sure.
“We’re looking at loan players, we’re looking at permanent players – we’re seeing what’s available.”