Joe Rafferty felt two of Norwich City’s goals in their 4-2 win over the Lilywhites at Deepdale were offside, and he was frustrated to learn that his initial suspicions had been proven correct upon seeing those efforts back at full-time.
Onel Hernandez’ first half effort and Adam Idah’s hattrick-clinching strike from the penalty were both shown to have had players offside at some stage of the build-up as the Canaries knocked Alex Neil’s side out of the FA Cup at the third round stage.
Speaking to iFollow PNE after the game, defender Rafferty said that he had suspected both of those goals had been offside and also discussed the added frustration of the non-use of VAR, despite it being deployed for other third round ties at Premier League stadia.
“I thought they [the two mentioned goals] were [offside] at the time, I haven’t seen them back, but it is a bit frustrating because I thought we’d done all right in parts,” he said. “They are a good team, create good chances, but that is a bit frustrating.
“It’s tough because you come up against the big sides, the Premier League sides, and you want the decisions to be right. To be honest, on the pitch, I thought he was offside [for Norwich’s second] – I put my hand up – but the goal is given, I can only run over and shout at the linesman and probably end up getting booked, so I didn’t and that’s the point, I’d rather just get on with it.
“I had a feeling he was offside but it is frustrating because if it was there [Carrow Road] and VAR was involved, it’s getting ruled out.”
The Lilywhites went into half-time trailing 3-0 and Rafferty had felt North End had responded well, pulling a goal back within five minutes of the restart through Billy Bodin, with Norwich then being awarded a penalty shortly after, again from an offside position, providing a ‘killer’ blow.
“We came out second half and we started really well. We felt we were on top, we had a chance or two getting at the goal and then obviously that happens – he’s offside and they get a penalty.
“To be honest with you, I was quite sure that was offside as well. But you never know when you’re on the pitch, you think it’s offside and sometimes you come in and he’s two yards on. But that’s frustrating because if he is offside, it’s killed us really.
“The ‘keeper made a few great saves up there but I thought in parts, we played really well considering the changes and stuff, there were a lot of changes there.
“I thought in parts we done brilliant, we never want to concede four goals at home, that’s far too much, but two of the goals should have been ruled out. We’ve just got to keep working hard and go again.”
The 26-year-old was making his first appearance since being sent off in last month’s home win against Fulham, and subsequently serving a three-match suspension, and the defender is now hoping he can play himself back into contention ahead of next weekend’s trip to Blackburn Rovers.
“That’s what it’s about, I just try to play as well as I can and give the manager a bit of a headache and hopefully he’ll put me back in because no player ever wants to be out of the side. I want to play and we’ve got a big one coming up against Blackburn and I’d love to be involved.
“There was a lot of games there, a lot of football played, probably a bit too much, but I never mind it, even though I haven’t played much over the Christmas period. We all love playing football so we don’t get to train as much [over the festive period] but there’s a lot of matches there and hopefully we just go and kick on against Blackburn now.”
Watch more from ‘Raff’ on iFollow PNE.