Birmingham City manager Steve Cotterill has heavily criticised the performance of referee Oliver Langford, as he stated that the two yellow cards for Sam Gallagher are some of the "softest bookings" he has seen as his side fought out a 1-1 draw away to Sunderland AFC.
It tipped the balance of the game for me
Birmingham headed to Wearside in more of an unfortunate than every other side that had visited The Stadium of Light thus far, as they were the first side to visit since Sunderland ended their barren run at home with the win over Fulham.
It is fair to say that The Blues who were the better side throughout the first period with Gallagher opening the scoring but was quickly cancelled out by Lewis Grabban, but could have easily been ahead once again towards the half's end.
However City had their back against the wall for a large chunk of the half, with Cotterill and fans alike feeling hard done by the goalscorers dismissal from proceedings.
Gallagher was judged to have dived by Langford as he went down in a clash with Robin Ruiter before seeing his marching orders for a tackle on James Vaughan, and Cotterill vented his frustration at the officiating post-match.
“Sam Gallagher’s two bookings are the softest bookings you will ever see in your life,” Cotterill claimed in his post-match press conference. “You can understand if it’s one of them, but to go and hit him with the other one."
“Sam Gallagher is 100% an honest boy. He hasn’t dived," the coach claimed to the gathered press. “When he gets that touch, if he’s steamed into the goalkeeper what would happen then? So he has to go round him."
“For me, that’s really, really harsh. If that’s at St Andrew’s he doesn’t get booked for that," the 53-year-old stated. “And the same for the second one - there’s no way that that’s a foul, no way."
“If it’s not a foul on Cheikh Ndoye, for Sunderland’s goal, it’s not a yellow card for Sam Gallagher," Cotterill added. "And that tipped the balance of the game for me.”
We only got a point for our troubles
City's performance on Wearside certainly could have been expected in terms of the league position, as despite managing to gain a point they remained at the foot of the Championship table.
Birmingham had a number of chances especially in the first period coming from the likes of Jonathan Grounds, Gallagher and Jota, and Cotterill stated his side "deserved" the three points overall.
"We were the better team today and they’ve got the advantage with the ten men they’re playing against," he said. "I thought our performance today was absolutely first-class."
"The performances haven’t been as bad as the results and it’s just everybody jumps all over it and says how bad we are," the coach proclaimed. "You can go back through lots of individual games, in the last 11 games, or before I been here."
"There’s points we should have picked up and we’ve been unlucky not to. Today, you can say exactly the same," Cotterill concluded. "Today, we deserved three points and we only got a point for our troubles."