Jack Grealish defends "brilliant" referee for squaring up to Ipswich Town player

Jack Grealish has launched a surprising defence of referee Darren Drysdale after the official squared up to Ipswich Town's Alan Judge on Tuesday night.

Drysdale appeared to move his head towards Judge late on during Ipswich's 0-0 draw with Northampton, after he waved away the Republic of Ireland midfielder's appeals for a penalty.

The 49-year-old has since apologised for his actions in a statement released by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited.

“I fully understand that it is important for us as referees to maintain our composure throughout the game and always engage with players in a professional manner,” said Drysdale.

“I’m sorry that I did not do that last night and I can only apologise to Alan and Ipswich Town.”

But Aston Villa and England midfielder Grealish sees no reason why Drysdale should apologise for his actions in the League One clash.

Responding to a tweet detailing Drysdale's statement, he wrote: "Ah come on?! No need to apologise at all! I think it’s brilliant."

Should Darren Drysdale have apologised for his actions? Have your say in the comments.

Grealish accompanied his message with the crying laughing and applause emojis.

In contrast, Ipswich manager Paul Lambert found the incident anything but funny and called for an EFL investigation into Drysdale's confrontation with Judge.

"I've texted Mike Jones (EFL head of referees) this morning to say, 'Have a look at the footage of the head thing'," Lambert told talkSPORT on Wednesday.

"To me, in my opinion, it looks as if the referee went in there and I said to him after the game, 'Did you put your head in my player?'

"He couldn't answer it and that's the reason I spoke to Mike. I haven't seen that in a long, long while."

After the incident with Judge – during which the midfielder was shown a yellow card – Drysdale sent off Flynn Downes in the 93rd minute.

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