Birmingham boss Bruce rejects De Ridder 'cheat' claims

Birmingham City boss Steve Bruce is angry with claims from Aston Villa's Zat Knight that Daniel de Ridder attempted to con referee Steve Bennett and win a penalty in Sunday's derby.

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"The referee has got to be absolutely sure that de Ridder dived if he books him," said the boss. "Usually there's a delay when you think about it, then go over. There wasn't with de Ridder.

"I have heard that it was faint, it wasn't the strongest of challenges and that de Ridder's a 'big lad'.

"Well, hang on a minute, he's six stone dripping wet! It's not going to take much to disturb him.

"He's a dribbler and when you are running at pace, if there's the slightest contact it knocks you off balance.

"We've seen 17-stone rugby players go over after being tap-tackled in the recent World Cup. That happens when you are at full pelt. It doesn't matter how big or small you are.

"De Ridder's an honest lad. He said there was contact - and there was."

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