Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton felt an unjust red card for Jamie Murphy cost his side a deserved win at Bolton Wanderers today.
The Albion boss was unapologetic in his assessment of referee Mark Hayward’s decision to send off Murphy, and felt the challenge was no more than a booking at worst.
He told seagulls.co.uk, "My first impression from 50 to 60 yards away was that he slipped and that he swept the lads feet away from him.
"We were in a position last week at Wolves where a lad got sent off and his feet were off the ground, studs showing and he caught Liam Rosenior – that is my definition of dangerous play. Today, Jamie slipped and swept the lad's feet away from him.
"The reaction of the player may have made the referee choose a red card instead of a yellow card. My opinion hasn't changed; it is an awful decision and there is no doubt it has changed the game.
"They got the equalising goal from putting pressure on us and putting balls into the box and that wouldn't have been the case if we had eleven players on the pitch, as we would have been able to put a little bit of pressure on them and the keep the ball further up the pitch.
"It is a really tough one to take as we deserved all three points, but in regards to character in the dressing room there is plenty of that and at times today we had some really good phases of play, and could have increased the lead at 2-0 if our passing had been a bit more precise.
"The goal hurt us just before half-time and gave them a lift but I have no doubts that the result changed on the referee’s decision."
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Hughton says his initial instinct is to appeal the dismissal but will further review the incident, before making a final decision.
"We have to take guidance and see as many angles as we can but what I have seen so far doesn't warrant a red card."
Despite the hosts' numerical advantage the Albion manager said he was more than confident his side were going to hold out for all three points.
"I didn't think we were going to concede, it took a long ball and the lad has jumped well and he is good in the air.
"I knew we would have to defend but I was as comfortable as you can be against that type of scenario.
"What I have to do is give the players credit as that last period was a tough ask and we came very close. It is a down changing room and I think that says something."
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