Bruce Slams Leeds Claims

Last updated : 22 January 2007 By Kevin Markey
Ken Bates backed Dennis Wise in claiming the Blues should only be allowed to field players who were available for the original fixture on January 13 when it is played on February 27.

Bates, in his programme notes for Saturday's match with West Brom, claimed City were "foolish" to attempt to re-lay the St Andrews pitch ahead of the game with Leeds which was called off when deemed not fit to play on.

They had four injury doubts for the game in DJ Campbell, Cameron Jerome, Stephen Kelly and Nicklas Bendtner while Rahdi Jaidi was suspended.

Bates wrote: "Dennis Wise was justifiably miffed and noted that Steve Bruce had four players injured and one suspended. He argued that to preserve the integrity of the competition, only players available to play last Saturday should be available on the rearranged date. I think that there is merit in his argument."

But Bruce replied: "I know for a fact that Leeds were hunting around on the Thursday before they were due to meet us for a goalkeeper because theirs had got injured. It would have been a great time to play them. With all respect to Leeds, we were going to take on a side in the bottom three.

"We wanted the game on but the pitch situation made it impossible. All this other stuff I've heard is nonsense. In any case Jerome and Campbell were fit to play in that game with Leeds. We also don't want a fixture pile up."