Alex McLeish believes Alan Hutton was 'conned' into getting sent off during Aston Villa's 2-1 defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday.
The Scottish full-back lost his composure late on against the Gunners and picked up two yellow cards in the space of as many minutes.
Clumsy challenges on Robin van Persie and Thomas Vermaelen saw his night ended early, as Villa saw three more points slip through their grasp.
Arsenal skipper Van Persie was spotted waving at Hutton as he trudged off down the tunnel, and McLeish feels his defender should not have taken the bait.
He said: "I thought Alan was great, really terrific. Although it didn't cost us the game, it was a shame to see him getting sent off after such a good performance.
"Van Persie was waving to him as he went down the tunnel. They conned him. Alan was conned and he should be experienced enough to just laugh in his face and walk away.
"He was disappointed in himself. He texted me last night and he was apologetic. He was probably trying to get out of the fine.
"Maybe the Arsenal player lured him into it but I didn't think he'd get conned like that, but there you go."
While McLeish feels Van Persie lured Hutton into a reckless challenge, he has no issue with the actions of the Dutch striker - with riling opponents all part of the game.
When asked if that side of Van Persie's game disappointed him, the Villa boss said: "No, you've got to do what you can for your team. What it is, is being streetwise.
"If you're winding someone up and they get sent off - and you've reduced the opposition's resources and your team wins - you've done a good job."
Hutton must now serve a suspension, but McLeish insists there is still plenty to come from his fellow Scot following his summer switch from Tottenham.
He said: "I think there is more to see from him. He strides forward. He had some phenomenal performances for Scotland during the World Cup and European Championship runs. He was outstanding against the Italians and French.
"He is in really good form and he even matched Craig Bellamy (of Liverpool) the other night. He got on the wrong side of Bellamy a couple of times but he got back to him.
"He has great recovery pace and he's a big presence."