KARL Robinson has called for flair players to receive more protection from referees after losing Ben Woodburn to injury.

The 19-year-old broke a bone in his foot and could be out for up to three months after being on the receiving end of a poor tackle at Accrington Stanley.

Robinson was unhappy at the time with the challenge, which went unpunished by referee Martin Coy.

And the U’s boss argued creative players like Woodburn needed more protection from referees.

He said: “I think if it was in the Premier League there would be a lot of questions asked about the tackle.

“The text I got from somebody at the top at Liverpool wasn’t overly complimentary.

“He’s a big player in League One and the treatment he gets on a weekly basis is not acceptable.

“I had a young player called Angelo Balanta who we had on loan from QPR and was top at that time.

“He broke his leg and cruciate in the same tackle at Brentford, through being the best player on the pitch and his career didn’t come back from that.

 “We’re an entertainment industry and the best players need to entertain.

“We play in an entertaining way and I want that to continue. I’ve said it many times, but I don’t think the flair players (get the protection they need).

“I know Coley (Accrington boss John Coleman) and (assistant) Jimmy (Bell) are massive Liverpool fans, so the last thing they’d want is a Liverpool player injured.

“I just think the referees have a duty of care and he didn’t even see it.”