A neutral would say that the 3-3 at the Reebok had it all, but Bolton will certainly be the happier whereas the City squad are left seething…
City boss Mark Hughes was close to apoplectic at the standard of Mark Clattenburg’s scattergun refereeing:
‘The decision to send Craig off was laughable. It is quite clear the guy has taken him out. Craig is running at full pelt and has knocked the ball past him. But for some reason Mr Clattenburg thought Craig was looking to deceive him and decided to send him off. Everyone in the stadium seemed to be mystified for quite some time. Apparently he had booked him after the third goal for dissent.’
Beleaguered Bolton gaffer Gary Megson agreed, before praising his side who exposed City’s defensive failings and generally poor performance in key areas, despite The Blues admirable fightback resilience:
‘I thought it was a bit harsh. He did not seem to be looking for it as he has gone past our full-back.I did not realise he had been booked earlier. I knew Craig when he was a young lad at Norwich. He has not changed. He is still fiery as well as being a marvellous player.
‘We’re delighted given how both football clubs are run. It’s a decent result because of that but on the other side of the coin we took the lead three times. But in terms of what’s been going on for us it’s a great point…our lads played well and gave it everything. Kevin Davies was right back to his best and I don’t think we would have got that result without him.’
Sparky went on to hint at darker motives behind Bellamy’s first sending off in eight years:
‘We are really frustrated with his (Clattenburg’s) performance and the performance of the other officials. The first goal is clearly offside. Why the hell they found it difficult to get that one right I have no idea. I also don’t appreciate when the referees coming out for the second half start making comment about who they do or do not like in my team. They might be having a laugh and a joke. I have to be careful here as we are talking about integrity.’
City’s boss then looked at the bigger picture and revealed that Nigel De Jong and the withdrawn Shaun Wright-Phillips might not make Wednesday night’s clash at Spurs:
‘We had to show courage to get back into the game. Everyone gave a terrific effort. We deserve credit for taking something from the contest.
‘Shaun got a bang on his leg which caused him to go over on his ankle which locked up and is pretty sore. Nigel has swine flu. We are trying to keep a lid on it. He will not be at the training ground on Monday but might still be an option for the game in midweek.’
VMC City Video Link: Hughes On Bolton Draw
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