STEVE BRUCE accused Huddersfield Town striker Alan Lee of “cheating” following the ugly post-match clash that led to his son Alex being red-carded to take the gloss off a 2-0 win for Hull City.
The Tigers defender was sent off by referee Howard Webb after pushing Lee to the ground moments after the final whistle had blown.
Hull manager Bruce was left incensed by the incident, which, he claims, was sparked by Lee elbowing his son and then going “over like a big tart”.
He said: “It infuriates me, it really does. Just as the final whistle was being blown, Alan Lee ran past Alex and elbowed him. The ball was nowhere near them.
“Alex’s reaction was wrong but I defy anyone who is blatantly elbowed not to react. And he did only push him (Lee).
“The disappointing thing is what happened next, as Alan Lee rolled over. He is cheating in those 10 seconds.
“Now, there is no one who likes a more physical encounter than me. And I thought more of Alan Lee than that.
“Alex and Alan played together at Ipswich and got on well. I’ve even had a few pints of Guinness with Alan and that is why it disappointed me so much. I thought he was better than that.
“As far as I am concerned, he has cheated by blatantly elbowing someone and then fallen over like a big tart.
“I might get into trouble with the FA, but we have to stamp out this nonsense. These are the things that have to be brought to justice.”
Bruce was so angered by the red card that he took the unprecedented step of bringing a laptop to his post-match press conference and showing the incident to the assembled reporters.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post after the main media briefing had finished, the Hull chief added: “I fully understand that people will talk about nepotism and that Alex shouldn’t react. But I defy anyone who has just been blatantly elbowed to just say nothing.
“I will deal with that, just as I would any other player. But I can understand the reaction. For me, he should have gone up and punched him. That way he gets a red card.”
Alex Bruce is now facing a three-game ban, though the Hull manager plans to contact the FA with his video evidence to try to reduce that punishment.
He added: “I didn’t see it at the time, neither did Howard Webb. And the linesman didn’t see it. That is because the game had finished.
“All we saw was Alex charging towards him. But, hopefully, justice will be done and let the FA look at it.”
Asked what he would consider to be justice, Bruce replied: “The rules are if you push someone in the chest, you get a one-game ban. If above the chest, then it is three.”
Understandably, Huddersfield did not put up Lee for interview after Saturday’s defeat, but their manager, Simon Grayson, said: “Hull are complaining that Alan caught Alex, who was stupid to react like he did by pushing him in the face.
“If Alan is caught on camera, then he will get done by the FA. That is what happens these days (with video evidence).”
Asked if he was surprised by the reaction of Bruce – whom he managed at Leeds for 18 months – Grayson replied: “He can be a hot-headed lad at times but he shouldn’t be reacting as he did.
“He pushed Alan in the face. No matter what Alan Lee has or has not done, Alex is stupid because Hull have won the game and he will now get a three-game ban.”