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Fulham boss Hughes: Big clubs get major decisions in games

Fulham boss Mark Hughes has no doubt big clubs get the major decisions in games.

Hughes sends his Fulham side out against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night warning that the big teams get the benefit of the big decisions from referees.

The Fulham boss has sympathy with Stoke manager Tony Pulis who has criticised a plethora of bad decisions this season and who called earlier his week for bad referees to be relegated to the championship.

The man in the middle at Stamford Bridge is Martin Atkinson, the referee who came under fire from Pulis for his handling of Stoke's 2-0 defeat at Sunderland at the weekend when he failed to give a penalty when Lee Cattermole clearly handled the ball on the line.

Hughes said: "Do big clubs get the benefit of decisions? As a player at Manchester United I would have said absolutely not. But as a manager going up against the so-called 'Big Four' clubs, I have a different view, possibly.

"There's a natural tendency, it's human nature. Sometimes the consequences of giving a decision against a big side are too much for some referees to take. It's difficult for them.

"There's no way I'm questioning the integrity because it's split-second decisions and it's human nature sometimes that you take the easy option."

Hughes admitted that he had been frustrated by that refereeing tendency at both Fulham and when he was at unfashionable Blackburn.

He added: "You just want consistency in decisions and most of the season you will get that. But the key decisions, the key elements of the game where a decision actually affects the outcome of the result, those are the ones you want the referees to get correct and of late it seems too many of them have been given incorrect.

"I'm not for one minute saying that we get badly treated in terms of refereeing decisions.

"We've had a number that have gone against us but there are a number of clubs aggrieved by decisions that are made against them. You just hope the referees are able to really get those key ones right."

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