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Don't blame Suarez for instinctive reaction - Mansfield boss Cox

Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox says Luis Suarez cannot be blamed for handling the ball prior to scoring the decisive goal in Sunday's 2-1 FA Cup victory at the Field Mill Ground.

The Reds striker made contact with the ball before firing home past Stags keeper Alan Marriott and although it was a decision missed by the match officials, Cox could not begrudge Suarez for his actions.

"Their second goal, that's when you need a referee or a linesman to spot those kind of things," said Cox.

"I don't think he (Suarez) did anything wrong. It was instinctive centre forward play.

"But if you look at the body language of players, all my lot are running to the ref and linesman and Suarez is blasting the ball in the net to say 'I've just handballed that'.

"I don't want to say anything bad about him because he is a fabulous talent, and if the shoe was on the other foot then we would have taken it.

"But when you've officials at that level, you expect them to pick up on it, but they are only human."

New boy Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring for Liverpool prior to Suarez's goal before Matt Green gave Mansfield some hope with his goal in the 79th minute.

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