Steve Bruce slams ‘stonewall penalty’ decision, laments ‘sheer lack of quality’

West Brom looked to be denied a clear penalty in the opening stages.

West Brom manager Steve Bruce has slammed the referee’s decision to not award his side a penalty in the 1-0 defeat to Birmingham City on Sunday afternoon.

Albion had what looked a clear penalty waved away after just four minutes when Blues defender Marc Roberts hand-balled a Darnell Furlong throw into the box.

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The referee blew the whistle and with the stadium expecting a point to the spot, he gave a free-kick in favour of the home side.

Speaking after the game, Bruce says he was perplexed with the decision but refused to blame the defeat on one bad call.

“It’s a stonewall penalty,” said the manager.

“I think the referee blew his whistle and thought ‘s***, what have I done’ and then invented a free-kick to them where not even our players went for the ball. They both collided into each other if I recall it well enough so it was a poor decision.

“On the other one, Conor has got his hand in a position where it shouldn’t be so I’ve got no qualms about that one but we should have had a penalty after three or four minutes - a blatant one which the referee has missed.”

On the game itself, Albion struggled throughout but the former Newcastle boss believes it wasn’t down to a lack of trying.

“I didn’t think it was lack of urgency, I think it was lack of quality.

“I thought there was nothing in it, both teams give what they wanted to give. I don’t think it was a lack of urgency, I thought it was just a sheer lack of quality I’m afraid.”

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