Dean Smith had one word to sum up the decision to send off Tyrone Mings against Crystal Palace – “pathetic”.
The Aston Villa boss could not believe the defender saw red for what, in his opinion, were two soft yellow cards.
Villa put the setback behind them to beat the Eagles convincingly with goals from Bertrand Traore, Kortney Hause and Anwar El Ghazi.
But it didn’t stop the maanger from disagreeing with referee Anthony Taylor’s decision to dismiss Mings.
“I thought the first yellow card was pathetic if I’m honest,” said Smith.
” Tyrone’s stopping himself from getting attacked and gets a yellow card for it. The second one, it looks like there’s a foul just before Tyrone commits the foul as well. Two very very soft yellow cards.”
Despite being reduced to 10 men just before the break, Smith was delighted with the way his players performed to make it three wins and a draw from the last four matches.
“It was an all round team performance today and another clean sheet and that’s the pleasing part,” said Smith.
“It’s important you get that balance right of when to attack and when to press, especially when you’ve gone down to 10, but I thought we did that really well.”
Traore was the player who made way when Mings’ sending off forced Smith into a reshuffle, allowing Ezri Konsa to enter the action.
Asked if the winger was unlucky to be hauled off just before half-time, Smith added: “Yep, he was.
“I had to judge which way to go after the (red card) setback.
“We wanted to move quickly. They had an awful lot of height in their team, I thought about (taking off) Ghazi or Bertrand but it allowed me to play Jack high and wide with 10 men in the second half.
“He was very unfortunate. He got his goal and was lively in the first half. It’s really good to have those choices.”