Sean Dyche was left “amazed” by a red card for Michael Duff that he felt cost his rock-bottom Burnley side in Saturday’s 1-0 loss at West Ham and potentially their Premier League status.
Referee Jon Moss surprisingly brandished a straight red card for Duff in Saturday’s clash at Upton Park after the experienced defender had chopped down Cheikhou Kouyate in the penalty area after 24th minutes.
Burnley’s misery deepened when Mark Noble put the resulting penalty into the bottom right-hand corner.
Manager Dyche had no qualms about the decision to award a spot-kick, but was left flabbergasted by Duff’s dismissal.
“It’s a penalty, but I’m amazed it’s a sending off and disappointed it was a sending off,” he said. “I think there was a stadium full of people who were surprised it was a sending off and I imagine their manager was surprised, the staff were surprised, the subs were surprised, the linesman was surprised, the groundsman and I think there’s a tube station nearby that was surprised it was a sending off…but other than that.
“I’m amazed because it’s a massive moment in a game like that – a game we need to win. We started brightly, created chances and it was evening out
“It’s hard enough for us to win any game with 11 men, for us certainly, but 10 versus 11 is very difficult. It’s a real sadness to me that in big games like this at this stage of the season that we speak about a referee’s decision that had a say in how the game panned out.
“I asked the ref after the game and he said it’s because he was ready to shoot and score. He’s not even got it under control. It’s a penalty, I must make that clear.”
Burnley’s defeat leaves them eight points adrift of safety and a loss to Hull City next weekend will confirm an immediate return to the Championship.
“I’m not going to say this one decision has led to us being where we are but when you really need decisions to be right it’s disappointing,” Dyche added.
“It makes it a big mountain to climb now. You’re going into myths, legends and folklore.”