Alex McLeish admitted he was left completely baffled after midfielder Chris Herd was sent-off in their 2-1 defeat at home to West Brom.
Villa boss says sending off was 'harsh' decision
Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish admitted he was left completely baffled after midfielder Chris Herd was sent-off by referee Phil Dowd in their 2-1 defeat at home to West Brom.
Paul Scharner's second-half goal earned the Baggies their first away league win over 10-man Aston Villa for 32 years.
Villa went ahead through Darren Bent's penalty but the game turned Albion's way after Herd was red carded after 35 minutes for a challenge on Jonas Olsson inside his own box.
Chris Brunt missed the spot-kick but the Baggies cashed in on Villa's frailty at set-pieces, with Olsson equalising before half-time and Scharner netting the winner - both from Chris Brunt corners.
But McLeish was left fuming after the incident involving the young Australian and told Sky Sports
in his post-match interview: "I was very disappointed by the decision. We were baffled at the time and having seen some pictures I still believe it was a harsh sending off.
"On the pictures that I have seen, if I can see another angle then who knows, maybe I'll agree with the linesman, but I didn't see Olsson writhing around in agony or charging after young Herd indicating that he'd stamped on him. I've never seen that and I'm sure Olsson would let everybody know if he'd stamped on him.
"It looked like to me as if, the picture we've seen, that he's tried to get his foot out of Olsson's grasp, trying to stop him making a quick break up the pitch when the ball was cleared and if that's the case then it was an extremely unfortunate decision for us."
The 22-year-old Australian was playing an important part in Villa's tactics and McLeish agreed, as he added: "We changed the dynamic of the midfield for today's game and I thought Chris settled into his role particularly well and for the kid to get send off, I felt that he had let us down, but then seeing the pictures, it looks innocuous."