It's official: Scottish referees need psychological help!

Controversial refereeing decisions dominated large parts of this season, especially in the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League which witnessed severe and widespread criticism of officials from managers, players and supporters.

McVicar, who is the Scottish Football Association's head of referee development, told BBC Radio Scotland that Dr John Mathers from Stirling University will continue his work with officials in order to make their job easier.

"We know we are always soft targets and will always be subject to criticism from various levels," McVicar said.

"We have contracted a sports psychologist, John Mathers from Stirling University, who deals in mental preparation for games, how to deal with things when they go right and when they go wrong.

"This started last December and it was very beneficial. We had the referees all together in February and we got very positive feedback from them.

"We have tried to incorporate it on many levels but from now on, we want to incorporate it for the top referees.

"He (Mathers) is starting off with group work and then he will trim it down to individuals but what he talks about with individuals will be between themselves, it won't be something that will be reported back to us.

"We are looking at him to work with the referees, give them ideas and thinking points for their game.

"I think they can all take something from it."

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