Tuesday 25 April 2017

Bruce blasts ref

Eleanor Crooks

SUNDERLAND 2

BIRMINGHAM CITY 2

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce blasted rookie referee Anthony Taylor after watching his side pegged back to a 2-2 draw by Birmingham at the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats were two up inside an hour thanks to Darren Bent's penalty and an own goal from Stephen Carr but Blues defenders Scott Dann and Liam Ridgewell netted in the final 12 minutes.

Sunderland found themselves down to 10 men two minutes before half-time when new captain Lee Cattermole was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Lee Bowyer, but it was his first booking that really riled Bruce.

"The first yellow card, nobody in the ground knows what it's for," said the Sunderland boss.

"Cameron Jerome fell over and made a meal of it but apparently he hasn't booked him for that but for Catts kicking the ball away. I've seen it and he never kicked the ball away, he passed it to them.

"You could say Catts was naive on the second one but in my opinion the referee, I think it's his second or third game, he was out of his depth and if you're going to fast-track people through they have to be exceptional.

"I don't want to criticise referees but I think he's only been refereeing for four years and it looked like it."

City boss Alex McLeish, meanwhile, admitted his side had been poor, saying: "There's 37 games to go and I would hate to go through every game watching that. It was a tough game for us. We didn't pass it the way we can."

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