Paul Hart's task of keeping Crystal Palace in the Coca-Cola Championship got even tougher after Chris Burke's goal secured a 2-1 win for Cardiff at Selhurst Park.
The Eagles put in a spirited display and deservedly hauled themselves level when Clint Hill cancelled out Gabor Gyepes' early opener, but Hart was angry with referee Carl Boyeson, who failed to give a penalty when Tony Capaldi hauled down Stern John and then harshly ruled handball against Neil Danns - giving Cardiff the free-kick from which Burke hit the winner.
``You have to look at a blatant penalty - how it's been missed I'll never know,'' said Hart. ``And then a handball when the ball has been battered at the player from a yard. Up to that point there was only one team in it.''
Palace were missing six first-teamers through injury and suspension and Hart added: ``I think it was a magnificent performance. We are patching players up and we have kids on the bench - we are what you see.
``We've got seven games to go and if we play like that we will win football matches. The players are disappointed and angry.''
Palace's administrators are in talks with a potential buyer for the cash-strapped club - one piece of good news on another grim day for the club.
``I'm led to believe we are getting closer, which is brilliant,'' admitted Hart.
Cardiff boss Dave Jones was relieved to pocket another three points towards their play-off bid.
``The ball was in the air a long time, it was difficult to get the ball down and play, and I thought we dealt with it as best we could,'' he said.
``At this stage of the season, sometimes you have got to win ugly.''
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