Bruce and Poyet play down spat

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Published: Wednesday 4th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet both attempted to downplay their touchline spat after an ill-tempered 1-1 draw between Hull and Sunderland.

The rival managers clashed after Poyet was sent to the stands in the first half for reacting to Jack Rodwell’s caution for diving by angrily kicking a container of water bottles.

The Uruguayan made a beeline for Bruce before making his way and – after an angry exchange of words and gestures – the Tigers boss lunged towards Poyet before being restrained by assistant referee Stuart Burt.

Neither man covered themselves in glory in the heated incident, but tempers had cooled somewhat by full-time.

Bruce admitted behaving like a “raging idiot” for his part, while Poyet declared himself “old fashioned” and preferred to leave the matter on the pitch.

The pair shook hands in a KC Stadium corridor after seeing goals from Dame N’Doye and Rodwell cancel each other out, but there was plenty of simmering resentment beneath the surface.

“We all do stupid things and we will wake up to stupid headlines. We’ll both regret it in the morning, but we get on with our lives,” said Bruce.

“These things happen in the heat of the moment, grown men acting like a couple of children.

“What he said will stay between me and him…it’s up to Gus to reveal what he said but I don’t think he will.

“It wasn’t very pleasant, like ‘have a nice evening Steve’. But I’m not going to reveal it to sell your newspapers.

“The critical thing was that Gus has seen it differently about Jack Rodwell diving to gain advantage. The referee got it right, but I think by his reaction Gus saw it the other way.”

Bruce was also grateful to Burt for his persistence in holding him back when the red mist descended.

“I thanked him, I’ll probably have to buy him a beer too,” he said.

“A big heavyweight like me and he was a lightweight to be fair to him. He was exhausted trying to keep hold of me.”

Poyet was less forthcoming in his post-match comments.

Asked to offer an account of the incident with Bruce, he said: “No, because I am old-fashioned. What happened stays on the pitch.

“I’ve spoken to Steve and shaken hands. I just saw him, nothing happened. It’s football. It’s passion.

“I have to convince the officials not to put any buckets of drinks around me. I have no regrets whatsoever. If that is a bad image for football I am sorry but I don’t think it’s something to worry about.”

Poyet was at least clear that Rodwell was the victim of inconsistency from referee Mike Dean, suggesting Paul McShane had won a free-kick in similar circumstances to Rodwell.

“I was not happy with the decision of McShane. He was diving like he was in a theatre, dancing, ballet and then he got a free-kick for Hull.

“And then Jack was diving and got a yellow card and free-kick against him. So give me one, you cannot get both against you.

“McShane, in the first half, jumped with both feet and went down like he had been shot, but he won a free-kick. I was just asking for the same treatment, simple as that.”

Published: Wednesday 4th March 2015 by The News Editor

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