RICHIE Wellens has called for more ex-professional players to be encouraged into a career in charge of Football League games following their retirement.

The Swindon Town manager stated his strong opinion following his side’s defeat to Northampton Town in League Two at the County Ground on Tuesday night.

Northampton won the game 1-0 after scoring in controversial circumstances after one of referee Craig Hicks’ linesmen failed to spot Ryan Watson’s clear touch on the right wing that sent Andy Williams – stood in an offside position – through on goal.

After previously being denied a penalty at Exeter City on Saturday, and conceding a corner away at Colchester United that debatably came off a home player’s head, Wellens has argued that presence of former players as officials would increase the accuracy of decision making in the EFL during key moments of games.

He said: “Get ex-players to make these decisions. They will make decisions that are miles better because they have played the game and they know the game.

“How anyone cannot see the Northampton player touch the ball from the long ball forward – thousands on the far side all saw it.

“That decision cost us the game.

“It was a shocking decision, a shocking – inept – decision.

“I understand linesmen have a difficult job, sometimes they have to look 40 yards one way and move their eyeline immediately to see where the striker is.

“But when the player has touched it and both players are in sight, it’s an easy decision.

“We can’t affect these inept officiating performances every week, we can only affect ourselves.”

Last week, Wellens was charged with improper conduct following an incident in the tunnel at half-time during Town’s trip to Colchester in the Carabao Cup earlier this month.

With hindsight, the Town boss admits reacting was not what he should have done.

But he claims he was provoked into a situation where a reaction was inevitable. And he’s now called for increased levels of honestly from fourth officials across the league.

He added: “I was provoked into a situation where I reacted. I probably shouldn’t have reacted.

“But if people do what they did to me, then I’m going to react. There is no point speaking to these people (officials).

“After Tuesday’s game, we said: ‘Did you see him (Watson) touch the ball’.

“They said: ‘No, he didn’t touch it’.

“What are they seeing?

“I’ve got a lot of time for some fourth officials, but I’ll have more respect if they said what they see.

“Instead, they cover each other’s backs.”

Trevor Kettle, who has handed out eight yellow cards and one red card from three games this season, will be the man in charge of Town’s visit to near neighbours Cheltenham Town tomorrow.