Ref cost us: Hughes

Fulham boss Mark Hughes said referee Stuart Attwell’s insipid performance was to blame for their 1-0 loss to Bolton in the FA Cup on Sunday.

The fifth round clash at Craven Cottage was decided by an Ivan Klasnic goal, but Hughes believed his side were robbed of vital scoring chances from set plays.

“There were a couple of situations where you think the referee needs to make a positive decision and just waving your arms for an advantage can be a cop-out,” Hughes told Sky Sports.

“In and around the box you don’t particularly want advantage. You want free-kicks and set plays, which we didn’t seem to get.”

“In the second half, there were a few decisions we found difficult to understand.”

The match marked Bobby Zamora’s return to the pitch, as a substitute, after five months on the sidelines with a broken leg and Hughes lauded the English midfielder on his comeback.

“If we take the positives, the appearance of Bobby Zamora was huge for us and everybody saw what talent he has and what we have missed this year,” he said.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle had nothing but praise for his match-winner Klasnic, who scored a Cup winner for the second time in five days for Wanderers.

“Klasnic is a born goalscorer. That’s a gift that has been God given to him,” Coyle said.

“He came at the start of the season when he wasn’t fully fit, he missed pre-season and (once he) got himself to peak fitness Kevin Davies and Johan Elmander were in outstanding form.”

“But now he’s getting himself back to fitness which is great for me with Daniel Sturridge cup-tied.”

“We’ve got real competition in the forward areas and that augurs well for the rest of the season.”