‘Two clear penalties’ not given, claims Clotet
Birmingham caretaker head coach Pep Clotet believes his side were denied two penalties in their 1-1 draw against Millwall.
Jake Clarke-Salter’s header 11 minutes from time – his first goal for the club – cancelled out Shaun Williams’s spectacular 30-yard strike from the 61st minute.
Blues also had centre-back Marc Roberts carried off on a stretcher due to a twisted ankle suffered after 26 minutes.
Clotet was frustrated at missing out on two possible spot kicks after Clarke-Salter and Alvaro Gimenez looked to have had their shirts tugged in the box in the second half.
“We were unlucky that the referee could not see two clear penalties in my opinion,” said Clotet.
“That would have changed the game but we don’t use that as an excuse.
“One on Jude (Bellingham) I am not sure, but the one on Alvaro is very clear – it’s a penalty and a red card.
“Jake was the same – he was pulled in the box. But the referee did not see it.”
Millwall’s former Birmingham manager Gary Rowett disputed Clotet’s claim on the penalties.
“Two? Blimey! I don’t think he should have had one. If you are the home manager and have not created many chances that’s what you say,” said Rowett.
“Our analyst said they might have had a shout for one of them, but we limited them to virtually nothing.”
Rowett has picked up 11 points from 18 since he was appointed and believes Millwall were good value for a draw.
“I wouldn’t say I was pleased. The first half was very good – we were by far the better side, and we created a lot of chances,” he insisted.
“When we counter-attacked, we did it well. Our shape was good, we negated a lot. We had a great chance with Matt Smith which would normally be a tap-in for him but it was a great save from Connal Trueman.
“In the second half we ran out of steam a bit, and run out of composure.
“Birmingham bringing Jefferson Montero on that left side allowed them to create a bit of momentum.
“I was disappointed to concede a goal – it was a free header six yards out which isn’t what we do but it’s been a positive week. We are showing real ambition.”
It was Birmingham’s third successive 1-1 draw after similar outcomes at Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield.
But they have now gone five games without a win, since October 26.
Clotet was pleased Blues salvaged something from the game after Millwall defended in numbers after scoring.
“I want to praise the side for coming back into a very difficult game and remind the players that Millwall went ahead against Swansea and it was impossible for Swansea to get back into the game,” the Spaniard added.
“We want to remind ourselves of how we can do better, how can we can create more chances and how we can take more chances.”
Regarding Roberts, Clotet said: “He landed on his ankle and twisted it and that’s not a good sign. It doesn’t look good but it’s too early to assess.
“It’s painful but we will be able to say in a couple of days.”
A draw was a fair result with Blues having the two penalty appeals turned down while Ivan Sunjic was denied and Bellingham, Lukas Jutkiewicz and Gimenez fired wide.
For Millwall, Matt Smith and Ben Thompson were foiled and Jed Wallace just missed the target.