Paul Cook admits Wigan Athletic will consider lodging an appeal against the red card given to Sam Morsy in the 2-0 defeat at Brentford if his first impression - that it was totally accidental - is proved correct.
Morsy was dismissed just before the hour mark at Griffin Park for clattering Brentford’s Yoann Barbet, who got his head to a 50-50 ball a split-second before the Latics man.
The visitors were already a goal down to Neal Maupay’s 24th-minute effort, and the Frenchman doubled the lead within five minutes of Morsy’s departure to secure the points.
It was a scoreline Cook didn’t believe flattered the home side, who boosted their promotion credentials.
“No, I’ve no complaints whatsoever,” the Latics boss acknowledged.
“Brentford were excellent on the day, right from the off, carved us open, created chance after chance and showed what a fine side they are.
“We wanted to show today that we can compete with the top teams in this league, but that didn’t look the case.
“The game-plan never got going and we never got a solid foothold in the game.”
However, Cook changed tack completely when asked about Morsy’s red card.
“On the sending-off, I have a little bit of a complaint if truth be told,” he admitted.
“I’m commenting without having seen it back, but I felt Sammy’s put his head in to win the ball, and obviously there’s been a clash of heads.
“If I’m wrong, I would apologise for that, because we certainly don’t want that sort of thing in the game.
“But I was also disappointed if truth be known with the reaction of the Brentford bench and the Brentford team.
“I feel the referee’s made a very quick decision to show the red without giving himself time to think.
“My genuine feeling was Sammy put his head in and there was a very accidental clash of heads.
“If it has happened the way I think I’ve seen it, then we would look to appeal it.
“But looking at the bigger picture on the day, Brentford were excellent and they were by far the best team we’ve met this season.”
In truth, the scoreline could and should have been even more emphatic, with only a world-class display by goalkeeper Christian Walton preventing a more lop-sided result.
Cook’s decision to leave out top scorer Will Grigg for James Vaughan raised eyebrows before the game, but the manager was not in a mood to discuss that after the game.
“I’m not going to start going through players and explaining why they’ve been picked or not,” he snapped.
“We’re going to play on Tuesday and Friday, and the games are coming thick and fast.
“The team on Tuesday will have been already picked, which it has been.
“Obviously now we might not have Sam Morsy in there, but we have a very strong squad and players ready to come in if required.”
He did show he still had his sense of humour when asked whether there were any positives he could take from the game.
“Positives...how about the fact we don’t have to come back here this season?” he laughed.
“Having said that we’ll get them in the FA Cup...just to prove me wrong!”