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Fulham 0 Birmingham - Post Match reaction

last updated Monday 18th November 2002, 10:38 AM
Fulham Manager
 Jean Tigana  
Jean Tigana  
Fulham boss Jean Tigana broke with his customary post-match approach after two of his players were dismissed in a stormy goalless draw with Birmingham at St Andrews and commented on a decision by the referee Massias .

Rufus Brevett's first-half sending-off for a deliberate goal-line handball was followed by a red card for Steve Marlet, who was guilty of kicking out at Robbie Savage after a hefty challenge from the Welshman.

Tigana had no complaints with either dismissal, but what did bother him was that Savage managed to stay on the pitch for his part in Marlet's downfall.

He said: "It is the first time I have complained in two and a half years about a referee. I thought the FIFA rules said that when you make a tackle from behind it is a red card and so Savage should have been sent off.

"If you play in a World Cup or European Championships that is what would happen and if you read the rules the tackle from behind does demand a sending off. The referees have to protect players.

"Marlet deserved to go but with Savage it was not acceptable and the rules have to be applied."

French international Marlet added "There is no question Savage should have gone. He had been niggling at me and other people all through the game."

Tigana, who confirmed he would be fining Marlet for his red card, had no complaints about the dismissal of Brevett for his handball on the line in the first half.

He said: "I asked for leaders after the game at Aston Villa last week and today we showed great resilience and team spirit to collect a point."

Optically challenged
 Steve Bruce  
Steve Bruce  
Birmingham boss Steve Bruce had a different view of the incident.

He said: 'From where we were sitting, Mr Tigana must have really good eyesight because the incident happened on the very far side of the pitch.

'For me Robbie made a mistimed tackle which probably deserved a yellow card. It didn't look as if it was a tackle from behind. I thought it was straight on with their fellow but I have to admit from where we are sitting it is difficult to see what is happening 70 yards away.

'A manager always gets frustrated when two players are sent off and are not as placid as they should be.'

After the match Blues' manager Steve Bruce said: 'Robbie has got a groin injury which he did colliding with van der Sar and I would think it is highly unlikely that he will be available for Wales.
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