Brentford boss Thomas Frank bemoaned the absence of VAR in the Sky Bet Championship play-offs after feeling his side were denied a clear penalty in their semi-final first-leg loss at Bournemouth.
Arnaut Danjuma’s clinical counter-attacking goal early in the second half earned the Cherries a 1-0 advantage ahead of Saturday’s return match in west London.
But Bees boss Frank was left frustrated by referee Tim Robinson not pointing to spot in the opening 10 minutes following an Adam Smith challenge on Tarique Fosu-Henry.
While many inside the Vitality Stadium missed the incident, the Danish coach was adamant, launching into a passionate monologue about video technology at his post-match press conference and referencing the substantial financial rewards that come with promotion to the Premier League.
“Why is there not one of you who is asking me about VAR on the penalty? Have you seen it back? 100 per cent penalty,” Frank said.
“Another good example of why there should be VAR in these games.
“The small margins that you need to have with you, you need to have those going your way in these semi-finals.
“This is not a ‘maybe handball’. No, no, no. Our player touched the ball, clear contact in the penalty box, that’s a penalty.
“It’s these situations that we need to get bang on. I think we’re only playing for what, about £170million?”
After the possible spot-kick, Bournemouth striker Dominic Solanke headed against a post at the other end.
The hosts were rewarded for their greater attacking endeavour in the 55th minute when Danjuma raced around 80 yards to finish a breakaway goal he started by regaining possession deep inside his own half.
Brentford substitute Bryan Mbeumo squandered the chance for an equaliser 12 minutes from time when he fired wide of an open goal, to the delight of around 2,000 Cherries fans permitted to attend.
Frank, whose side lost in last season’s play-off final, rued that shocking miss but insists the contest is far from over.
“It was an even game between two very good teams that both tried to get on top of the game. I think a draw was the result it should have been,” he said.
“But in a tight game, we know it’s the small margins that will decide the game. Losing our structure, focus on the biggest threat they have – the counter attacks – gave them the first goal.
“That was a bit where we need to do better.
“And it’s a massive chance for Bryan Mbuemo, it doesn’t get any bigger.
“There is plenty of time to turn this around. We have 90 minutes to do that and that will be more than enough time.”
Bournemouth boss Jonathan Woodgate admits his victorious team still have plenty of work to do to set up a Wembley meeting with either Swansea or Barnsley.
“It’s half-time, we’ve got a slight advantage, but we know we’ve got it all on going to Brentford,” he said.
“We know how good they are at home, we know how good their players are. They’ve been in this situation before, they’ve had that experience. It’s far from over.”
A sour note for Bournemouth was the first-half loss of captain Steve Cook to a knee injury.
Woodgate is unsure whether the centre-back, who was replaced by Chris Mepham, will be available for the weekend.
“It’s a blow to lose Cooky. It’s a knee injury, but I don’t know the whole prognosis yet. He will get a scan over the next 48 hours. He’s got a chance (for Saturday).”