Bruce slams 'ludicrous rule' after Burnley defeat
Hull City manager Steve Bruce slammed the "ludicrous rule" that saw Michael Dawson forced from the field as Danny Ings' struck in Saturday's 1-0 Premier League defeat to Burnley.
Referee Martin Atkinson spotted blood on Dawson's shirt and asked the defender to leave the pitch to find an alternative.
Burnley - relegated despite their victory - capitalised on their man advantage by netting a 62nd-minute winner as Hull failed to clear their lines from a corner, with Dawson still waiting to make his return to the action.
"I'm not going to make that an excuse, but it is an absolutely ludicrous rule," he said. "There's a tiny little bit of blood, which could be wiped away with a handkerchief.
"There's a tiny speck of blood on his shirt and I'm not going to make the excuse that it could have changed the outcome of the game, because that would be wrong of me to try and fudge the issue, but it certainly didn't help.
"That's that ludicrous rule again that you have to go off because of the tiniest speck of blood, which for me is nonsense."
Asked to assess his side's performance, Bruce remarked: "Frustrating and disappointing immediately come to mind, of course.
"The important thing in big games like today is that you have to perform to any level that you're capable of. If we're being honest, we were nowhere near in all departments.
"We were nowhere near the standard that's required to go and win a match of this magnitude."
Hull are now two points adrift of safety with matches against Tottenham and Manchester United to come, but Bruce has not given up on survival.
"We've still got a chance," he added. "Nobody gave us a chance against Palace [2-0 win] and against Liverpool [1-0 win] and we found a bit of form.
"We've got to go and produce two huge performances and make sure we make a fist of staying in this division."