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Mistake knocked referee 'for six'

ESPN staff
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Referee Andre Marriner escaped demotion from the Premier League list despite his misdemeanour © Getty Images
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Andre Marriner says his glaring red card error at Arsenal last weekend 'knocked him for six'.

The referee has spoken out about the incident, in which he incorrectly sent off defender Kieran Gibbs after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had handled the ball against Chelsea, saying he is determined to put his demons to rest when he takes charge of Southampton against Newcastle on Saturday.

"It knocks you for six to be honest," he told the Daily Telegraph . "There's a lot of talk out there that referees make decisions, go home and don't care about it but that's so far from the truth.

"You're continuously playing the incident over in your mind. You think about how you could've arrived at the right decision and 'what could I have done differently?'

"You draw from all these other different sorts of aspects to try and find the reason why you've made a mistake but equally the best thing you can do is try to park it and move on because this incident happened in the 15th minute of the game. Afterwards I analysed it to death."

Oxlade-Chamberlain allegedly told Marriner twice that he had been the handball culprit before Gibbs was sent off but the FA reacted to the mix-up by announcing, on Monday, that neither player would be banned for Arsenal's meeting with Swansea on Tuesday.

The governing body cited "mistaken identity" for Gibbs and "wrongful dismissal" for Oxlade-Chamberlain, who the red card was initially transferred to after the game.

Marriner avoided punishment for his misdemeanour, with the Premier League confirming he would be back in action this weekend.

It is rare for officials to speak out after such incidents and Marriner used his public comments to express gratitude to the referees' body, Professional Game Match Officials' Limited (PGMO).

"I made a high profile mistake last weekend," he said. "But it's like a player who misses a penalty or goalkeeper who fails to make an easy save, you want to get back out there the week after to put those demons right.

"I'm delighted by the [PGMO] decision, it shows what my bosses think of me as a referee and hopefully I won't let them down and I'll be able go out on Saturday and perform at my usual high standard.

"I've met all my colleagues this week so I've received a little bit of banter from them which has been good natured. I've been down in the dumps and it's made me smile and hopefully I've got my mojo back.

"You've got to draw on your experience and look at the good things you've achieved over a number of years. I took charge of the FA Cup final last year and you've got to take strength of character from that as it's the biggest game in English club football.

"I achieved that by doing things right so you draw from those experiences and it's about getting back out there and putting things right. The players experience the same things we do when they go home and think can they do better and as a referee I'm no different."

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