Kevin Blackwell has rejected suggestions that Chris Morgan deliberately picked up a booking to avoid an explosive return to Barnsley.
The Sheffield United skipper received his fifth caution of the season in the 1-0 defeat by Newcastle on Monday night, ruling him out of the trip to Oakwell.
Morgan's last visit to their South Yorkshire rivals ended in controversial circumstances when his clash with Iain Hume left the Tykes striker in hospital with a fractured skull.
The tough-tackling centre-back, who spent seven years at Oakwell before moving to Bramall Lane in July 2003, would have been the centre of attention on Monday night.
But Blades boss Blackwell has brushed aside claims that his captain ensured he would not be involved with a first-half booking against the Magpies.
Blackwell said: "It's nonsense to suggest Chris got booked so he would miss the Barnsley game. Nothing could be further from the truth.
"Chris, as a former Barnsley player, was desperate to play there."