Alan Pardew had words of praise for Graham Poll after the referee warned the Charlton boss that Alex Song was in danger of being sent off in Monday's 0-0 draw with Reading.
Song had already been booked for a nasty tackle on Steve Sidwell in the first half at The Valley, and was promptly substituted by Pardew on 69 minutes after losing his discipline further.
A red card for the on-loan Arsenal man could have had catastrophic consequences for an Addicks team desperate to avoid relegation from the Premiership.
Now Pardew has revealed that he hatched a plan to gain advance warning of whether Song was heading for trouble, and has praised Poll for assisting him in keeping a full complement of 11 players on the pitch.
"I went to see Graham Poll and I said 'I need to have some signal if he is getting close to being sent off'," Pardew revealed in The Sun.
"He sent me that signal so Alex had to come off.
"Alex made an undisciplined challenge which put himself under pressure. He needs to learn from that but he was brilliant at times.
"It was full credit to Graham. That's the sort of refereeing you need. Nobody wants to see a team go down to 10 men and I think he did the right thing.
"If there was more of that communication between us and the referees, we would see far fewer incidents on the pitch.
"I knew Graham was under pressure so I said to him 'If Song makes another challenge you are unhappy about - and I can't do nothing if it's a bad one and he's got to go - but if he is making silly ones and the next one is going to be it then let me know'.
"I think that is within the laws of the game."