Date: 21st March 2012 at 3:48pm
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Birmingham boss Chris Hughton was not happy with the referee after the 4-1 defeat at Portsmouth on Tuesday night.

Referee Brendan Malone came in for some criticism from the Blues boss after promotion hopes hit another setback.

City took the lead in the 7th minute through Nikola Zigic and all looked well for the Midland`s outfit, but Chris Maguire levelled for the home side.

David Murphy then saw red for a second bookable offence and Blues then conceded goals to David Norris, Kelvin Etuhu and Marko Futacs to give Pompey their first win in 10 games.

Hughton insisted Portsmouth’s first two goals should not have stood and the sending off of Murphy was also the wrong decision.
Hughton said: ‘I have not been as angry with any other refereeing performance this season.

‘I know how difficult their job is to do but the performance of the referee changed the course of the game. I went and saw him afterwards.

‘We should have been given a free-kick in the run-up to their first goal and for their second there were five or six of my players claiming for a handball.

‘Then the sending-off was for something so minimal.

‘We left ourselves open for the third and fourth goals but at 2-1 down with 10 men it is always going to be difficult.

‘We have got to pick ourselves up and forget about this game and keep fighting for a play-off spot.’