Birmingham boss relaxes after first win

Lee Clark
Lee Clark replaced Chris Hughton at St Andrew's. Photo: PA

Lee Clark was a very relieved Birmingham City manager after his side chalked up their first win of the season - but was not pleased with the performance of referee Gavin Ward.

Peterborough's boss, Darren Ferguson, was not so happy either as bottom-of-the-table Posh are still without a point this season.

The game was decided by a first-half own goal from Peterborough's goalkeeper Robert Olejnik, when he punched a Wade Elliott free-kick into his own net.

Clark, who is not used to losing games after guiding Huddersfield Town last season to a record-breaking unbeaten run, had to endure an anxious final 10 minutes when Peterborough produced their best attacking play of the game.

Afterwards, he expressed his concern about the referee's decision not to award Birmingham a first-half penalty.

He admitted: "It is madness how we have started the season.

"I do not like talking about officials because they have a tough job. I have great respect for them but it is becoming nonsensical now.

"We didn't have two penalties we should have had against Charlton and Coventry and had one given against us at Watford which should not have been a penalty.

"Against Peterborough the argument was whether the incident took place inside or outside the box. It was definitely a foul.

"The Peterborough lad was the last defender and the laws of the game would have meant that he would go off. I am not asking for that but we have to start levelling things out.

"That could have cost us as a 2-0 lead would have enabled us to express ourselves.

"To be honest I thought some of the refereeing decisions were strange. I am getting frustrated because I try not to criticise these guys but it cannot keep happening.

"It is too easy for the boss of the referees to call me up two days after the game and say we should have had a penalty. I am in a results-driven business. I need those referees to be accountable and these decisions have to improve.

"I am not going to allow this to be put under the carpet and I feel referees should take more responsibility and be asked to face the media to explain their decisions."

Clark, who praised Paul Caddis for his man-of-the-match performance following his move from Swindon, said: "The result was a huge relief. The win was more important than anything else.

"If we had put in a fantastic performance and only drawn or lost it would have been frustrating."

The penalty appeal came five minutes after the goal, when Lovenkrands appeared to be bundled off the ball by Kgosi Ntlhe.

Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson said: "I thought the second half was a very good performance. There was a little nervousness about our performance but when we did step up the tempo we caused them all sorts of problems. We just couldn't take our chances.

"Basically, we are in the game to win matches and I am sick of getting beaten. That is five on the bounce including the cup game.

"But I have seen enough against Birmingham to suggest we will start winning games again. There is no panic.

"Tyrone Barnett came back and was outstanding, you couldn't fault him, but there are one or two players who were very good last season who have not stepped up to the mark.

"It is a disappointing result and I am used to winning games and I do not like getting beaten."