Birmingham City boss Lee Bowyer was left fuming with midfielder Gary Gardner as he was sent off in his side’s 2-0 defeat to Hull City.
Goals from George Honeyman and Mallik Wilks secured victory for the hosts as they dominated the fixture. However, their job was made easier by the first-half dismissal of Gardner after he needlessly head-butted Josh Magennis. And manager Bowyer was not impressed with the experienced midfielder’s actions.
Speaking to BirminghamLive, he said: “Gards knows. He has been playing the game long enough, he is a big boy, he knows what he has done is not acceptable and he will get punished for it.
“I have defended him before, I said after Peterborough that for me it was a 50-50 tackle, millimetres, he gets sent off and I defended him.
“I stopped him getting fined, I did everything I can. But today I won’t defend him, I can’t defend him, you can’t do that. So he will get punished and rightly so.
“He’s missing for four games but we will adapt again just like we have today and all the other games we have kept adapting.”
It was the second time this season Gardner had been ordered off, having been sent for an early shower in the 3-0 defeat to Peterborough back in September.
Having played 14 times already this season, Gardner is a key player in midfield for the Blues.
Now Birmingham will have to endure a spell without him as he picked up a four-match suspension for his actions.
However, Bowyer admitted he felt his side were still in the game without his presence.
He added: “Even when we were down to ten men, OK they had a couple of chances here and there which they should do and we should do better for the second goal because it was a free header.
“But we are trying to move the ball and I think we created the odd half chance, huffed and puffed but at least we didn’t roll over and get hammered. The players kept going until the end, put in a big shift – a lot of them. No-one is going to feel sorry for us.”
More fury at controversial goal
Bowyer was also left fuming with the controversial opening goal for Hull City.
The ball appeared to be taken out of play by Ryan Longman before he assisted Honeyman for the finish after 17 minutes.
However, the goal stood and Bowyer was booked as a result of his arguments against the decision.
When asked about the goal after the game, the 44-year-old did not mince his words when speaking of the officials.
He said: “It’s just not acceptable. The thing that bugs me the most is that in the last two games I have had, so this week I have a letter and an email apologising that we should have had a penalty against Bristol City.
“I’ve had an email saying we apologise that Reading’s second goal shouldn’t have stood in the last game. We also should have had a free-kick in the build up. It was a blatant foul on one of our players.
“Then today, one million per cent I am going to get another email apologising again. Saying sorry that first goal was over the line and should not have stood.
“Then they had the audacity to book me. What do you want me to do? Am I just going to walk off and say that is acceptable? It wasn’t even close. It is not acceptable.”