Steve Bruce
Bruce called Oliver's penalty decision "a joke."

Hull City manager Steve Bruce has risked a Football Association misconduct charge after branding referee Michael Oliver's decision to award Tottenham Hotspur a late penalty at White Hart Lane which condemned the visitors to defeat.

Oliver pointed to the spot after Ahmed Elmohamady was adjudged to have handled Jan Vertonghen's cross with ten minutes left, allowing Roberto Soldado to score to send Spurs back into the top four.

The Tigers had battled valiantly for the previous 80 minutes and were worth at least a point after Yannick Sagbo and former Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone went close in the first half and Bruce has bemoaned the decision which undid their good work.

"It's an absolute joke decision," said Bruce. "It hits his leg for a start, and then goes up and hits his arms. How can you give a penalty in that situation?

"You look forward to coming back to the Premier League. We've had all these meetings and they're getting assessed, but they give decisions like that.

"It just baffles me. You have to ask if we would have got it? The disappointment I've got is I've got lads desperate to play in the Premier League and they're now questioning themselves.

"He is going to go and see it and know it is a soft one. He has robbed the players of a well-earned point.

"He's messed it up. If my player made a decision like that I wouldn't be playing him next week. If I kept making decisions like that I would get the sack."

Bruce is likely to be charged by The FA for comments regarding Oliver's performance in the defeat to Tottenham and could face a fine of £8,000.

The ex-Sunderland manager was fined £2,500 in 2010 for similar comments he made about Andre Marriner while boss at the Stadium of Light.

Paolo di Canio, Ian Holloway and Jose Mourinho have all been hit by improper conduct charges this season and Bruce's punishment is expected to mirror that should The FA responded to his post-match comments.

The FA have until 48 hours after any incident to bring charges against the offending individual but Bruce is expected to be free to take his place in the dug-out for Hull's second trip to Tottenham in a week in the League Cup on Wednesday.