Cardiff boss Neil Warnock hit out at referee Oliver Langford for allowing City striker Anthony Pilkington to get ‘molested’ in Wigan Athletic’s 1-0 victory in the Welsh capital.
Latics had to withstand an early onslaught from the Bluebirds before securing all three points thanks to Jordi Gomez’s late winner.
Goalkeeper Adam Bogdan had to make two splendid saves to deny Pilkington in the first half, and Warnock was unhappy with the way his star man was marshalled for the rest of the encounter.
“We could have got a few more decisions against Pilkington,” moaned the City chief. “I think he was molested at times and didn’t get the decisions, which went the other way quite easily.
“There were one or two errors in midfield which let them in and he (Gomez) took it well. It was a typical away performance from Wigan, they slowed the tempo and they’ll be delighted with that.
“I thought the referee didn’t help us either, he was quite fussy at times.”
Cardiff dominated large spells of the game and had their chances, with Sol Bamba blasting over from close range in a frantic finale before Joe Bennett saw a last-gasp volley cleared off the line.
The defeat ended Warnock’s three-game unbeaten start to life at Cardiff, and he added: “I knew it was going to be a 1-0 result but I thought we would be the team to get the one goal.
“If you don’t take your chances then you have no chance, and it felt like we were always going to get caught with a sucker punch at the end and that’s what happened.”
Cardiff had to cope without the finishing ability of Rickie Lambert, who missed the game through injury.
“Rickie has done well for us and we were missing our talisman today,” added Warnock.
“But that’s life in the Championship, you get injuries and you have to get on with it.”