Belfast Telegraph

Bruce fumes over rookie ref

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce blasted rookie Premier League 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 to earn the visitors a point. Sunderland found themselves down to 10 men two minutes before half-time when Lee Cattermole was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Lee Bowyer, but it was his first booking that really riled Bruce.

Taylor was taking charge of only his third Premier League game and Bruce described the 31-year-old as "out of his depth". The Sunderland boss said: "The first yellow card, nobody in the ground knows what it's for,"

He added: "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.

"For it to be in a Premier League game, when we've got (fourth official) Chris Foy standing there, one of the best officials, it doesn't make sense. All the big decisions, in my opinion, he got them wrong."

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.

"I felt we were lacking a little bit of sharpness in one or two areas. We caved in, and it was self-inflicted, although it wasn't a penalty because it was outside the box.

"But we showed in the end the fantastic resilience and spirit that the players have got. When you've got set-piece accuracy from somebody like (Sebastian) Larsson, it just needs somebody to be on the end of it."


From Belfast Telegraph