Wigan manager Steve Bruce branded Emmerson Boyce's dismissal "an absolute joke" after seeing his 10 men salvage a point at Newcastle.
The visitors were leading 1-0 at St James' Park when the defender was sent off by referee Andre Marriner for a second bookable offence nine minutes after the break, despite replays suggesting he had won the ball from Shola Ameobi. Boyce's departure prompted a Magpies fightback and it took a last-gasp equaliser from former Newcastle defender Titus Bramble to deny the home side the win they so desperately needed.
"I would love to say what I really want to say, but I can't for obvious reasons," said Bruce. "But the sending-off is a joke, and absolute joke of a decision, and cost us ultimately."
He added: "I think we comfortably would have gone on to win the game with 11 - we should have won the game with 10, if Henri Camara had taken his chance.
"And now with this stupid rule that you can't appeal two yellow cards, we miss the boy next week for Everton as well, so I am very disappointed.
"It's a howler of a decision. He absolutely got the ball.
"The referee has got to be absolutely nailed on before he gives a yellow card or before he gives a red card because those decisions change games.
"That's why we go nuts. The Respect campaign and all the rest of it - he has got it wrong.
"Sir Alex (Ferguson) is probably right this week; they should come into the training grounds and referee the training games or do something.
"We were robbed three weeks ago at Anfield and it knocked us back, and it was the same thing again here. That's all we are talking about, refereeing decisions."
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