West Ham boss Slaven Bilic insists striker Andy Carroll does not deserve a Football Association charge for his comments about the performance of referee Jon Moss following Sunday’s controversial draw at Leicester.
Carroll gave away a disputed late penalty for his challenge on Jeff Schlupp as title chasers Leicester battled back for a point.
Carroll claimed afterwards he felt referee Moss had tried to ‘even things up’, having earlier sent Foxes striker Jamie Vardy off for diving and awarded West Ham a penalty from which he scored.
The FA has since charged Vardy for his reaction to the red card, but has yet to announce whether Carroll will be punished for his comments.
Bilic said: “Would disciplinary action be unfair? Yes it would. Andy said what he said straight after the game, you are hot, you are disappointed – he was in that tackle which gave the penalty away.
“But it wasn’t anything major in that statement he made, it’s what players and managers normally say after a game, there was nothing in it for him to face a fine or whatever.”
Bilic could also be under the microscope for his after-match comments at the King Power Stadium.
Yet Bilic was widely commended for his defence of Moss, and of referees in general, following the stormy clash.
“From all the comments I read and heard, mine were the most sympathetic towards the referee,” he added.
“It was hard for him, it is hard for them. We or the FA should find a way to help them, to ease their job.
“It was hard for him in that game. The pressure was there, especially as it’s towards the end of the season and in an unbelievably important game for them, and for us.”
West Ham face Watford on Wednesday night looking to keep the pressure on in the race for a top-four finish.
The Hammers are seven points behind fourth-placed Arsenal and three shy of Manchester United in fifth.
On Sunday Watford head to Wembley for their FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace, and Bilic said: “On one hand they will probably think a bit about the game at the weekend, and maybe they will rest some players.
“But they brought a lot of players, experienced players, in the summer and in January.
“They have a big squad and a certain way of playing, and players who maybe start on Wednesday will have some fresh legs which is good for them.
“No matter which team they put out we need a win. The gap (to fourth place) is big, but the gap can be reduced.
“We have to win games. We are still in a big race for Europe and we are going to do everything we can.”