Newcastle skipper Kevin Nolan leapt to the defence of team-mate Ryan Taylor following his sending-off in their 1-1 draw against Bolton.
The former Wigan man received his marching orders for a 54th-minute two-footed tackle on Johan Elmander which left his side facing a lengthy battle to claim a point.
Nolan said: "Ryan being the honest lad he is, we know that he is never going to hurt or try to hurt anybody ever, and I felt for a fellow professional."
That the Magpies ultimately emerged with something to show for their efforts at St James' Park once again spoke volumes about the resilience within the squad.
However, Taylor's premature departure effectively cost them any chance of securing a victory which would have all but ensured their continued presence in the Barclays Premier League.
Manager Alan Pardew was quick to insist he would not punish the 26-year-old further for a challenge he described as "over-zealous" rather than malicious.
And, while Nolan admitted referee Chris Foy had little choice but to produce the red card, he too backed his team-mate.
He said: "Ryan's an honest lad and it was an honest tackle, as far as I am concerned.
"The boy went down like he had been shot, which is not nice because two minutes later, he got up and he was running around like a madman.
"That's what we don't like about it. But at the end of the day, it was two-footed and we have got no complaints."
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