Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has hit back at criticism of his disciplinary record and insists he is not a 'killer' on the pitch.
Mikel was handed his fourth red card since joining the Blues when he was given his marching orders in Tuesday's Carling Cup clash with Everton.
The Nigerian international received his most recent dismissal for a studs-up challenge on Everton's Phil Neville in the semi-final first leg, but Mikel insists he is not a dirty player.
"I honestly believe I did not deserve the red card," Mikel told the Daily Star.
"If people look at my record at Chelsea with four reds, they would believe I was some sort of monster.
"But I am not a killer on the field. I play with force and to win every match but really the amount of reds I have been given is very excessive in my opinion.
"Perhaps the referees do not understand my style. I have seen much tougher tackles in games where players have not been sent off."
And Mikel has revealed he has asked for advice from Chelsea team-mate Michael Essien, who was also criticised for his physical style when he arrived in England.
"Essien has given me some advice because he went through this as well," Mikel added. "Things have changed for him now and I hope they do for me."