Merrick still mad at Spanish-speaking ref

Daniel Gilhooly
Newcastle coach Ernie Merrick wants referees to only speak English to players during A-League games

Newcastle Jets coach Ernie Merrick says match officials should address players in English only, doubling down on his criticism of Australian referee Jonathan Barreiro.

Two days after his post-match blast at Barreiro following a 1-1 home draw with Perth Glory, Merrick's mood hadn't tempered when it came to the game's officiating.

He remained incredulous a penalty wasn't awarded for what he described as a "blatant" push in the back on Jets winger Nick Fitzgerald from Glory defender Alex Grant midway through the first half.

Merrick also didn't regret his pot shot at Barreiro, who addressed three Spanish-speaking players - Newcastle striker Abdiel Arroyo and Perth pair Diego Castro and Juande - in their native tongue throughout the match.

"I don't think that's appropriate. This is an English-speaking country, everyone speaks English apart from Arroyo," Merrick told journalists on Monday.

"I think he (Barreiro) should speak English, so we all know the instructions or details he's giving to Spanish players.

"He speaks in Spanish to players, which means it's a confidential conversation."

Melbourne-based lawyer Barreiro is one of the youngest referees in the league at 30 and was in charge of his 35th A-League match.

He has controlled the Jets on seven occasions.

Merrick urged A-League officials not to set a precedent by allowing him to communicate in Spanish.

"Now we'll have a Greek referee speaking to Greek players in the Greek language. And the same with Macedonian, Croatian, where does that stop?" he said.

"It's either all English, or it will become mayhem."

Merrick was otherwise largely satisfied with his team's performance, even if the draw left Newcastle second-last after four games.

The Jets will field a weakened team into Saturday's match at second-placed Western United FC.

Still without injured stars Wes Hoolahan and Kaine Sheppard, Newcastle will also lose three players to international duty - Arroyo (Panama), Matt Ridenton (New Zealand) and Bobby Burns (Northern Ireland under-21).

Centre back Nigel Boogard is a good chance to play after withdrawing late from the Perth game with a groin injury.