Mark Hughes labelled referee some of Mark Clattenburg’s decisions during the 3-3 draw at the Reebok as ‘laughable’ and ‘ridiculous’ but praised his men for showing the courage to snatch a point.
A fifth straight away draw, after three times falling behind, did little for the chase for the top four but a lot for self esteem when it came to the battle.
City were reduced to ten men when Craig Bellamy received two second half yellow cards and that after initially falling behind to a goal that was at best hugely debateable.
“The first goal was clearly offside. The Bolton player was ahead of the ball, why the officials didn’t see it I have no idea,” lambasted Hughes.
As for the sending off, Craig was clipped. It was a laughable and ridiculous decision. We now lose a key guy in our team. We were mystified by some of the decisions the officials made and didn’t make
After two goals from the marvellous Carlos Tevez and one from Micah Richards secured a point and stretched the Blues unbeaten run to 13 games in all competitions Hughes could at least find some positives.
“We had to show courage to get back into the game. Everyone gave a terrific effort,” he praised. “We deserve credit for taking something from the contest.”
Before heading into the night to prepare for the trip to Spurs on Wednesday the manager revealed that Nigel de Jong and Shaun Wright-Phillips are both facing a fitness fight for that match.
“Shaun got a bang on his leg which caused him to go over on his ankle which locked up and is pretty sore,” he reported.
“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.”