Lee Johnson questions referee display and claims Fleetwood should have had 'at least two penalties' against Cobblers

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‘I felt today was a really good opportunity, that’s not to discredit Northampton, and we can’t keep letting these opportunities pass.’

Fleetwood Town manager Lee Johnson described the referee as ‘poor’ and felt his side were denied ‘at least two penalties’ during Saturday’s 3-0 to Northampton at Sixfields.

The visitors trailed 2-0 at half-time after goals from Mitch Pinnock and Sam Hoskins but they had strong shouts for a spot-kick turned down when Akin Odimayo challenged Brendan Wiredu in the box with the game goalless.

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Two further penalty appeals were waved away by referee Marc Edwards in the second half before Pinnock confirmed a fifth straight defeat for Fleetwood with his second and Northampton’s third in stoppage-time.

Lee JohnsonLee Johnson
Lee Johnson

"We didn't get that break on a number of occasions today,” said Johnson. “I think you could argue there should have been at least two penalties in our favour and in the lead up to one of their goals in the first half, there's a clear foul. Brendan Wiredu gets fouled.

"It was a poor refereeing display but, at the same time, we conceded three goals and again we've failed to score so we can't pass the buck onto the officials.

"I felt today was a really good opportunity, that’s not to discredit Northampton, and we can’t keep letting these opportunities pass, but we’ve been a soft touch and that’s what worries you most. We have to have more steel and more grit about us.”

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Pressure is mounting on Johnson and Fleetwood, who remain in the League One relegation zone and have now conceded 16 goals and failed to score once across their last five matches in all competitions.

Johnson added: "It was a very passionate at half-time and that was from both the players and the staff and that's a good thing because it wasn't just coming from me and that gives me heart moving forward. It was good to see three or four senior players hold their hands up and admit they haven't been performing.

"We need to be more together as a team and we need to move out any guys who are not fully behind us for whatever reason. That's just a natural evolution of the squad because people need to be moved on, but we have to do it our way and with every decision we make, when one comes in and when goes out, it needs to make us better.

"Our fans were amazing. They came in their numbers again on a long journey. We need to be playing more like a team than we have been.”