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Gillingham manager Steve Lovell wants better communication between with match officials

By Luke Cawdell

Managers and coaching staff will receive red and yellow cards this season for bad behaviour as the Football League look to improve discipline on the sidelines.

Regular offenders will receive touchline bans for accumulating yellow cards, picking up a one-match ban for four yellow cars and two games for eight cards.

Offences can range from verbal abuse to kicking over water bottles while violent conduct will see management receive a straight red.

Gillingham manager talking to the fourth official Joe Johnson at Accrington Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham manager talking to the fourth official Joe Johnson at Accrington Picture: Ady Kerry

Gillingham boss Steve Lovell has no problem with the new idea but just hopes that communication between the management and officials can improve.

Lovell said: “We all get frustrated but the fourth official does takes a battering and quite unfairly at times.

“The one on Saturday (Joseph Johnson) was brilliant, we had a great rapport with him.

“I have recently a chat with the head of the referees and said that the only difference for me is that years ago you could talk to the referees. Last year I felt that there were times when the referees would just tell you to get on with it or they wouldn't even acknowledge you and that was what got my back up. You would ask them a question and they wouldn't answer. If the answer isn’t the answer I'm looking for then that's fine but I just wanted them to answer it.

“He wants the referees to communicate, it’s something they are keen on. As a player I had a great rapport with referees and used to laugh and joke with them. You respected them for it.

“Communication is so important and having that mutual respect.

“I will never shout at the officials, I just ask them a question. It is just about getting an answer back from them and when they don’t you can understand sometimes why people get frustrated.

“There's no point in arguing with them because you are not going to win, they have made the decision just get on with and that’s what I tell my players. It is hard sometimes when you're in the heat of the battle but you have to be disciplined enough to just walk away from things."

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