Bruce slams 'prat' Winter

Last updated at 13:37 17 December 2004

Birmingham manager Steve Bruce has launched an astonishing attack on former referee Jeff Winter after the retired official branded Robbie Savage a "coward" after a bust-up with Aston Villa skipper Olof Mellberg.

Winter was scathing about the Welsh international in his newspaper column and alleged that Savage had tried to gouge out the eyes of Mellberg during a flare-up in the 'second-city' derby last Sunday, which the Blues won 2-1.

But Bruce has slammed Winter's comments and claimed that he was unpopular with players when officiating before hanging up his whistle.

He said: "When have we ever been interested in Jeff Winter? He was hopeless at refereeing and absolutely despised by most of the professional players because of his attitude and thinking that he was bigger than any other player.

"Who is interested in what he writes? What was he - a bog-standard referee who loved himself. He drives me nuts. An absolute prat - and you can print that as well.

"For him to comment on anything like that (Robbie Savage), he has got about as much personality as a bag of chips. I disagree with what he has said.

"I just think it is someone making a few quid and, as I have said, who the hell is interested in Jeff Winter.

"He was disliked immensely for the way he was as a referee, the way he conducted himself, the way he portrays himself."

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