Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has said referee Lee Mason “wasn’t good enough” after his team’s 2-1 loss to Burnley.
This is the second time Mason has refereed Wolves this season and Nuno says he is a “point of distraction” and “makes the game worse”.
“It’s his job, he has to improve, he has to get better,” he told BBC Sport.
The Portuguese added: “Football is a physical game, a contact game and the referees make the decisions and are fair, but the referee is not good enough to blow the whistle, Lee Mason is not good enough. It just isn’t good enough.
“The way he manages the game, it’s not about big and crucial decisions, it’s how he manages the players, both teams lose their focus, they are still fighting over the decision.
“He needs to improve because the game requires good refereeing and good management of the game so that the players can continue to play. “
Despite Nuno’s frustrations, Burnley boss Sean Dyche suggested Wolves midfielder Joao Moutinho might have seen red for what he perceived to be a late stamp.
The Wolves boss did not direct his criticism towards specific incidents but added that Mason, who also refereed his side’s 1-1 draw against Newcastle in October, “lacked quality for a game of Premier League ”.
While it’s hard to statistically measure how well a referee lets a game go, Mason has given fewer free kicks for fouls than the majority of Premier League referees this season.
He has allowed an average of 19.8 fouls per game this season, with just two referees recording a lower average, although the 26 fouls he committed in Wolves’ loss to Burnley were above the overall average of the league’s 22.7 per game this quarter.
“It’s a problem, we know we’ve had Lee Mason before,” Nuno told Sky Sports. “It’s not about the mistake or the crucial decisions, but how he handles the game.
“The players are getting nervous, he whistles because of the noises from the players. We are talking about the best competition but he does not have the quality to whistle the match. “
“I just don’t want to see him anymore, I told him I hope he doesn’t whistle one of our games. He can’t control the players, the players are constantly arguing. The other referees let the game go. “