Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill defended Boris Stankovich's red card in the LV= Cup victory at home to London Irish.
Stankovich, got his marching orders for a high tackle on scrum-half Darren Allinson, but the defending champions held on to win 22-15 to stay in the competition.
Cockerill said: "It was a bit harsh. I really feel for Boris because he is not a dirty player. It was a yellow at most.
"Boris has gone with his arms against a smaller player and the guy slipped into him. I think the referee was the only person in the place who thought it
was a red.
"If it goes to disciplinary I hope the sending off is sufficient because Boris will be important to us in the next couple of weeks.
"It was a disappointing decision but the lads got on with it. We conceded a try and the momentum went against us but our defence was outstanding."
George Ford was key to Leicester's win with five penalties and Cockerill moved quickly to dismiss the 19-year-old wanted to leave because he was unhappy.
He explained: "George is considering his future because he is out of contract, nothing new there. We want him to stay and I have every confidence he will stay."
Irish boss Brian Smith said: "We are disappointed. We got a decent start and if you look at the teams you would say London Irish had more talent on paper.
"But you don't win games on paper, you win them on the park and Leicester were very enthusiastic. They played up to their potential."