Instead of raging at players who had lost to a late goal for the second week running, Steve Bruce pointed the finger at referee Steve Bennett for the official's failure to direct his at the Aston Villa penalty spot.
The Birmingham City manager claimed that Bennett's decision to deny his team not one, but two, penalties ultimately cost them probable victory or at least the share of the Second City spoils they actually deserved.
Having cancelled out Liam Ridgewell's own goal, in his first match against his old employers, with a strike from the rejuvenated Mikael Forssell, Blues were undone by a winner three minutes from the end by Gabriel Agbonlahor.
That the Birmingham derby was settled by a local lad will have richly enhanced the enjoyment of Martin O'Neill and his club's supporters, but it did very little to assuage Bruce's anger.
Both Bruce and his players felt they should have been awarded a spot-kick soon after Ridgewell directed Stiliyan Petrov's cross into his own net, when Zat Knight thrust out an elbow to divert Cameron Jerome's flick away from the Birmingham striker.
Certainly, the Villa centre-back made a motion towards the ball and replays suggested he was inside the area when he did so, making Bruce's frustration justifiable.
And while Martin Laursen's trip on Daniel De Ridder was less easy to detect, both Bruce and the Dutch midfielder felt it warranted Bennett's intervention. All they got was a yellow card for De Ridder, whom Bennett believed to be diving.
All of which was enough to give Bruce something of a complex. The Kent official was on duty during the first game of the season, when Blues lost 3-2 at Chelsea but felt they should have had a first-half penalty when Gary McSheffrey tumbled in the area.
He also alienated the St Andrew's crowd with his performance in the 1-0 defeat to Manchester United in which Franck Queudrue was booked for an innocuous challenge on Cristiano Ronaldo.
Throw into the mix a disallowed goal, missed penalty and failure to send off Conrad Logan in the 1-1 draw with Leicester last season and the similarly controversial way in which Bennett handled the win over Derby County in March and Bruce could be on the verge of making representations to referee's chief Keith Hackett.
"In a big game like today, we were harshly done by and he's got them wrong," Bruce snapped. "Two howlers. The first one was handball. I can't believe he hasn't seen it. It's blatant. For the second, he's been clipped and caught. Everyone in the ground has seen it, bar him.
"He [De Ridder] is convinced there was contact but, as usual with Mr Bennett, especially with us anyway, we don't seem to get decisions like that. He's got to be convinced that de Ridder was diving."
Bruce urged Bennett to accept responsibility and also wondered whether Hackett might look into the matter. "He's got them wrong and I hope he comes out and sees them on TV and says that," he went on.
"Whether Mr Hackett will do anything about it, we'll have to wait and see but they're professionals, you'd expect them to get them right, he's got them wrong and it's cost us."
De Ridder was adamant Laursen brought him down. "I felt a knock on my left foot and it hurt, I know he kicked me, that's why I went down," De Ridder said.
"He [Bennett] told me to go away, I told him to watch the replay. I am sure he [Laursen] hit me, it was a swipe. I could have gone on but I would never have got the ball. That makes it a foul, it doesn't make any difference how you go down."