Bruce's View: Fulham (h)

Last updated : 23 January 2005 By Brian Cartlidge

With Blues relatively comfortable at 1-0 up, the Staffordshire official deemed Damien Johnson's foul on Luis Borte to have taken place inside the Blues penalty area although tv replays proved that the offence took place a good yard outside the box.

"The referee made a howler of a decision in a massive game for both clubs,” said Bruce.

“It’s disappointing because it’s blatant, not marginal. You’re talking a yard outside the area at least and at this level that costs you.

"With 14 minutes to go it killed us off."

Andy Cole equalised from the resulting spot kick and to make matters worse Fulham midfielder Papa Diop scored seven minutes from time to give the vistors all three points and condemn Blues to their 4th consecutive defeat.

"We lost our discipline for the second goal. You cannot allow Diop those sorts of chances. He had been heading everything all afternoon," added Bruce.

"He is very good in the air and we did not deal with him."

On-loan midfielder Salif Diao completed the full ninety minutes on his debut and the Blues boss was pleased with the Senegal internationals overall contribution.

"Salif Diao had a competent debut. Overall he did okay when you consider he last played on Boxing Day," Bruce said.