Sunderland manager Steve Bruce believes Alan Hutton was unfortunate to be sent off in the victory over Hull City.
The Black Cats earned a 1-0 victory at the KC Stadium to as good as condemn their hosts to Premier League relegation courtesy of Darren Bent's seventh minute goal.
However, both sides finished the match with 10 men after Jozy Altidore and Hutton were dismissed in first-half injury time following a scuffle on the touchline.
Altidore was given his marching orders for head-butting Hutton, while the Scotland international was adjudged to have provoked the incident by throwing a ball at the Hull forward.
Bruce did not agree, telling Sky Sports: "Alan Hutton will know that he has done a silly thing.
"He has thrown the ball at him, but it hits him on the back. It is not as if it is going to do any damage to him."
Bruce added: "Alan is lucky he is not seriously injured. He has got a cut mouth, damaged teeth and a cut eye."
The Sunderland manager was then dismissed himself in the second half after advancing out of his technical area on too many occasions and he has said sorry to the match officials.
"I have apologised to the fourth official," said Bruce. "He is judged by somebody making decisions up in the stands and I am out of my technical area, too often probably.
"I apologise, but I was only trying to shout at a defender to get a bit tighter. But I have overstepped the line and for that I apologise."
Bruce has also reiterated his belief that Bent should be a certainty for the England squad for this summer's World Cup.
He added: "I have said it now for weeks; of course he should (go to the World Cup). I'm not going to try and tell Mr (Fabio) Capello what to do, but for me he is a must."