SEAN Dyche felt Burnley should have been playing against 10 men, rather than being a man down, after the FA Cup exit at Barnsley.
Midway through the first half, midfielder Brian Stock was booked in a case of mistaken identity after being pushed in the head by Tykes striker Marlon Harewood - who also received a yellow card.
Dyche felt Harewood should have been dismissed for raising his hands - and to compound matters, Stock received a second yellow card 10 minutes later, and was sent off.
The Clarets boss was convinced his side would have won the game with a full compliment of players: “It wasn’t self-inflicted, it was out of our hands. We were not at our best but still in control of the game until the sending off.
“We contained the game quite well after the sending off.
“Referees have a job to do, and it’s very difficult, but Brian Stock’s first booking is unfathomable. I’ve seen it five times and he’s nothing to do with the incident, I don’t get it.
“Harewood comes in and gives him a push in the back of the head - I’m amazed our player gets booked in that circumstance.
“I’m more amazed now I’ve seen it again.
“As far as I know, you’re off if you raise your hands to people’s heads and faces. Apparently not.
“Referees have a tough job, but he clearly got it wrong.
“The first booking then leads to Brian being on a knife edge. I’ve got no problem with the second booking because that happens, but the first stunned everyone.”
Since Dyche took over at Turf Moor, he feels four key decisions have now gone against his side - Lee Grant being impeded for Daryl Murphy’s opener in the defeat at Ipswich, Keiran Trippier’s dismissal for handball in the home setback against Charlton, a failure to play advantage for Charlie Austin’s goal after Trippier was fouled crossing at Birmingham, and now this: “The really frustrating thing is we’ve had four really big refereeing decisions go against us since I’ve been at the club, and that one is very disappointing.
“It’s hard at pitchside, but I’ve had the chance to see it and reflect on it, and he’s looking straight at it, so I don’t see how he’s not seen it.
“It happens, it’s just happening too often to us.”
Hugely frustrated, Dyche looked back at the game: “Without being at our best we looked comfortable in the first half, and even in the second we contained them well.
“The players are beginning to learn the framework we’ve put in place and they delivered it well.
“We managed to counter a few times and Dane (Richards) stretched them.
“We never looked in trouble all afternoon.
“I’m convinced 11 v 11 we go on to win the game.
“We were bright, showed some good passages of play, we opened up the game on several occasions...it doesn’t take a lot of debriefing, the sending off changes the game, simple as that.
“I’m convinced we would have gone on and won it.
“Obviously with 10 men it’s difficult to work the keeper, and I thought Vokesey was going to sniff one out at the end.
“By no means were we at our best, but we still looked comfortable.
“That’s the frustrating thing, to come out of a game because of a decision, rather than a team beating you.”
And he was philosophical about the slip from Brian Jensen which led to Danny Rose’s late winner: “He’s a very experienced keeper and that can happen. It’s a very unfortunate part of the keeper’s job, but the feel of the game changed with the sending off.
“It was just one of those things, the ball near the bar, his fingers trapped - it happens weekly to one keeper or another and unfortunately it happened to ours.”