Allardyce sympathises with 'fatigued' referees during busy festive schedule

The West Ham manager - who recently saw the red card for Carlton Cole rescinded retrospectively by the FA - feels an increase in the available officials will prevent mistakes

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes the busy festive fixture schedule is having a negative impact on the performance of referees.

Hammers striker Carlton Cole has had his red card from against Everton last weekend rescinded retrospectively by the Football Association on Thursday - along with Everton midfielder Darron Gibson, following a successful appeal.

And Allardyce has sympathised with the match officials, stating that the limited pool to choose from is triggering fatigue-influenced mistakes.

"This is a difficult period for referees," he told reporters. "Why do they always seem to make more wrong decisions now? It's probably because they are overworked and they are fatigued and the system has to be looked at.

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"Referees are travelling all over the country and out in Europe and have been since the start of the season. There's not enough of them. They try their very best to get things consistently right. But it happens every year around this time of year.

"We had a couple in our last game and there have been many throughout football over the Christmas period.

"Fatigue is everything in terms of decision making. Once it kicks in you lose the ability to make those decisions correctly.

"They need to ease the load on the referees we have. The game needs to move on and look at recruiting better refs from all avenues."