Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo declined to apologize for his “words and thoughts” after criticizing referee Lee Mason’s performance following a Premier League defeat by Burnley.
The Football Association requested observations from Nun after saying Monday that Mason “does not have the quality to whistle a game in the Premier League” and did not want to see official Bolton again.
But Nuno, who revealed he would talk to the FA on Dec. 29 about his comments after Burnley, said he would apologize only for the timing of his outing.
Nuno said: “They were not in the best moment they encountered, because that could be a bad interpretation.
“I will apologize for that in time, but I will not apologize for my words and thoughts.
“I will never judge or question the integrity of a judge. I have never done that and never in my life.
“What I said has to do with the referee’s ability, what I felt and what I saw in the match and previous matches.”
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s home game against Tottenham, Nuno said after the Wolves’ 2-1 defeat at Turf Moor that Mason was making the players “nervous”.
The Portuguese added that “it was not about key mistakes or decisions”, more about “the way he deals with the game”, and that he had to express his position after the previous matches with the Wolves, which were refereed by Mason.
“The Premier League is the best competition in the world – the only thing missing are the fans – and we expect a high level of performance and high standards,” Nuno said.
“As managers and players, what we expect from the referees is to be confident, to maintain their authority on the field, to control the players and to manage the game.
“We want the judges to get better, because as managers we have to get better, and I’m the first when the Wolves don’t admit it.”
Asked if he would stick to his comment that Mason is not good enough to judge in the first place, Nuno answered: “The Premier League has the best system of referees.
“When we go to the game, we expect the referee not to be the main hero of the situation.
“It’s a thought and belief (about Mason) that we had before in games.
“As I have already said, I have never done that (criticized the judges) and I will never do it again. But I will not be comfortable if I did not say that in this particular situation, because we want to go to the game without worrying about who is the referee of that match.
“Unfortunately, we had problems every time, so we just don’t want them to happen again.
“We want the referee to let the game run, and especially to control the players.
“We have to make the players realize that it’s hard work, but at the same time they have to be cooperative and help the referees, as long as the referees have dialogue as always.”