West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola refused to criticise the referee after the Hammers beat Wigan 1-0 in a game which both sides finished with ten men.
Carlton Cole was sent of by referee Stuart Attwell for two yellow cards, while Lee Cattermole received a straight red for a tackle on Scott Parker.
Attwell also issued six yellow cards, not including Cole's first, but failed to send off Lucas Neill for what was arguably the worst tackle of the evening on Cattermole.
But Zola was sympathetic towards the official afterwards, despite thinking Cole should not have been sent off.
"I told the referee I didn't think it was a reckless challenge, Carlton didn't even look at the defender - he just went for the ball," he said.
"He didn't want to cause any damage and it (the sending off) was too much.
"The referee is a human being and they make mistakes and we are here to support them.
"We explained it to each other at the end of the game. He said he thought it was a reckless challenge."
Before he was sent off, Cole got the winner in the 34th minute, finishing off a sublime one-touch Hammers' passing move.
Zola said: "It was a very, very good build up and the finishing was even better so a very good goal - I think the way we were playing, we were just missing the goal so it was very good discipline."