McCourt a victim of fouling tactics claims Flitcroft

�Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland
�Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland

Barnsley manager, David Flitcroft has called for referees to provide greater protection for Derry man, Paddy McCourt.

The former Derry City star has quickly become a fans’ favourite at Oakwell Park since breaking into the starting line-up in recent weeks.

The skilful midfielder has been singled out by opposing teams as a danger man and has become the victim of fouling tactics according to his new boss.

Flitcroft was disappointed that referee, Chris Sarginson did not book any Reading players in last Tuesday night’s Championship clash as several of them repeatedly fouled McCourt and the ‘Reds’ boss has called for officials to be stronger in future.

“We need a strong referee to protect Paddy,” he said. “It becomes a gang mentality to stop him with different players fouling one player but the referee can end it early with bookings.”

Bottom of the table side, Barnsley lost 2-0 to unbeaten side, QPR at Loftus Road at the weekend with McCourt playing the full 90 minutes. Despite his impressive performances for the Yorkshire club, McCourt has been omitted from the N. Ireland squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Israel.