Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis says he was very disappointed in referee Keith Stroud’s decision to send off Daniel Ayala in the 2-1 defeat to Preston last night.
The Spaniard won the ball in a strong challenge on Brandon Baker only for the referee to hand out a red card to the defender.
Pulis revealed in his post-match press-conference what he said to Stroud about the decision following the final whistle:
“I’ve watched it now from four different angles. The referee is a long, long way from the challenge. Not only that, he’s got players in between him and it looks from our view that he can’t see the challenge.”
“I’ve just said to him, to make a decision like that you have to be 100% sure. You can’t be 50% or 60% sure otherwise you’re gambling. I think he gambles and makes a very poor choice. And it affected the game.”
Ayala’s red card proved pivotal as Paul Gallagher scored an equaliser from the resulting free-kick. Preston went on to secure all three points after Jayden Stockley scored the winner in the closing stages of the match.
It means Boro slumped to their second straight home defeat after losing to Brentford on Saturday. The Teessiders are in danger of falling out of the playoff places if their poor form continues.
They are three points ahead of Bristol City in seventh, with another four clubs within six points. Pulis’s side do, however, have a game in hand on most of their rivals.