Football

Bruce: I got it wrong

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Wigan manager Steve Bruce shouldered the blame for a chaotic first half in the goalless draw against Fulham in which he had to use all three of his substitutes.

The hosts lost midfielders Antonio Valencia (hamstring) and Michael Brown (illness) in the 19th minute and then saw striker Mido (groin) limp off three minutes before the interval.

"That was x-rated stuff. I have to take some responsibility," said Bruce. "I picked a team where Brownie was sick before the game and I started him and shouldn't have done."

He added: "Mido hasn't trained all week and it looked like it. Valencia trained for two or three days and I thought he was fit and we've set him back two or three weeks.

"(Hugo) Rodallega hadn't played a full match for eight weeks and Ben Watson (who came on as one of the 19th-minute substitutes) is the same. He hasn't really played a competitive 90 minutes.

"I have to take a bit of the blame too. In hindsight the one thing you can't do in the Premier League is play people who are not fit because it doesn't do them any good and it doesn't do the team any good.

"It was a mistake and it shouldn't have happened. Thankfully my back four kept us in the game. Fulham were excellent on the day.''

The Cottagers had the better chances with Bobby Zamora forcing one good save out of goalkeeper Chris Kirkland and then embarrassingly heading over an open goal from two yards in the first half.

Manager Roy Hodgson said: "I'm not overly pleased with a point. I thought our performance possibly merited three.

"Maybe before the game if you had said we would get a point against an in-form Wigan team maybe I would have said `that sounds quite good'. But the way the game developed I thought we had so much possession and looked so dangerous for so many periods of the game."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Chris Kirkland
Fulham
Bobby Zamora
Football
Michael Brown
Ben Watson
Premier League
Steve Bruce
Wigan Athletic
Antonio Valencia
Ben Watson
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