By Rob Jarvis

21st Mar, 2022 | 4:10pm

Keith Hackett backs assistant referee after Bristol City offside calls v West Brom

We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League & FIFA-listed referee Keith Hackett as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at West Brom...

Keith Hackett has insisted that you can sympathise with Bristol City for their offside calls as West Brom equalised in the dying moments.

The ex-FIFA official admitted that the home side were unfortunate not to get the decision before Adam Reach slotted home, but that the assistant referee has to be backed given his position.

West Brom kept their little unbeaten run going in the Championship with the last-gasp goal, despite the big complaints.

“I’d be saying he’s very close to offside,” he exclusively told West Brom News.

“He’s come from an offside position, he’s actually very close, therefore he has become active in that pass. I think they’re unfortunate that they [Bristol City] didn’t get an offside call there.

“He’s in a good position the assistant, and it may be the kid in the middle that could be playing him on, I think you’ve got to go with the fact that he’s not offside because the assistant referee is absolutely brilliantly positioned and he would have flagged it.”

Get on with it.

As Hackett mentioned, the assistant was in the perfect position and therefore you have to back his decision.

With no VAR, there is bound to be some human error at some stage, but based on the footage, it is hard to tell if that applies here.

West Brom won’t care, with Reach’s goal a huge boost and one that keeps this unbeaten run going as we enter the final stretch of the season.

Technology and VAR may be coming to the Championship soon, and that is when these tight decisions will finally be prevented.

In other West Brom news, Steve Bruce has held talks over new Baggies signing since he arrived with work permit update shared

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