CARDIFF CITY manager Alan Cork is calling for the referee to show common sense in the heat of Sunday's Welsh derby at Wrexham.
Cork, who twice got himself in hot water last season for outspoken criticism of referees, wants Stockport official Scott Mathieson to show discretion in a game he knows will be running high in passion.
The City manager believes referees have been inconsistent this season - but admitted the introduction of new rules and directives was making it difficult for them.
"I hope that in the heat of Sunday's derby match the referee will show some common sense," said Cork.
"At present I don't think players or managers are getting a good shout because consistency is missing.
"The standard of refereeing has been very poor and it is difficult to know whether you are coming or going sometimes.
"But so many different rules have been brought in that referees aren't allowed to use common sense.
"It feels as if the spirit of the law has disappeared. You used to be able to have a laugh and a joke with referees, but you can't say anything to them now.
"You're not allowed to talk to them until half an hour after the game.
"But if they're not big enough and strong enough to talk to you, what's the point?"
"It was frustrating against Peter-borough on Tuesday when David
Hughes got booked for a tackle and the other lad retaliated - everyone saw that - but he escaped being cautioned.
"Either they're going to apply the laws or they're not, it's as simple as that."
In February Cork was fined £1,000 and handed a two-match touchline ban after being ordered from the dug-out at Torquay in December.
The Football Association of Wales's disciplinary committee took action after referee Paul Alcock complained about Cork's behaviour during City's 4-1 win.
Two months later Cork was banished from the dug-out for nine matches and fined £6,000.
A FAW disciplinary commission came down heavily on the Cardiff manager for abusing the referee in charge of City's 1-0 defeat to Brighton in Brighton.
In the summer Cork called for the Nationwide League to follow the Premiership's lead of introducing full-time professional referees.
"It's a horrible job, I wouldn't want to do it. But, at the moment, football is not their livelihood like it is ours," said Cork at the time.
"If they were fully professional, when it comes down to paying the mortgage and for the kids' food and clothing they might realise they haven't got to be so arrogant." firstname.lastname@example.org