Former Hearts boss Robbie Neilson slams referee following MK Dons defeat at Millwall

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Robbie Neilson has launched a scathing attack on referee Ross Joyce after watching his MK Dons side concede a controversial injury-time penalty in Saturday’s narrow 2-1 defeat at Millwall.

Neilson claimed the official was conned by match-winner Lee Gregory after the two-goal striker was adjudged to have been found by Paul Downing.

And the former Hearts head coach also insists that Joyce was influenced by a vocal home support at the Den.

Neilson, speaking to the Milton Keynes Citizen, said: “To be fair, Gregory does really well. He gets across my defender, grabs his arm and pulls him down with him.

“He’s made the referee make the decision. If it was my player, I’d be delighted with him.

“You’d hope the referee would be experienced enough to handle the game and see these things, but we didn’t have that.

“With 25 minutes to go, I think the referee started to lose control of the game. It’s a tough place to come for the players, and it’s tough for referees. And he didn’t stand up to the game.

“We needed a strong referee who makes the right decisions, who won’t be intimidated or pressurised and losing control. He didn’t stand up to the game.

“This is a phenomenal place to come, I really enjoyed it. The atmosphere was great, you need strong players with good characters and a referee who can handle the pressure. We had two out of the three – that’s why it wasn’t a great game.”

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