Kit Symons believed Tom Cairney’s red card against Wolverhampton Wanderers changed the complexion of the game.
With the score at 0-0, Cairney was given his marching orders in the 35th minute for a two-footed tackle on Adam Le Fondre.
Wolves then made their numerical advantage count as second-half goals from Adam Le Fondre, Sheyi Ojo and James Henry earned the visitors a 3-0 victory.
“You need to give Wolves credit, they got about us and didn’t let us play,” said Symons. “But the sending off changed it and you then have a different approach, a different game plan.
“Even then, we got in at half-time and said if we can keep it level for 15-20 minutes they’ll get frustrated. I felt confident we could still get something out of the game but then the first one was a deflection and in off the post. A mistake then from Lonners, who’d made some great saves in the first half, and you’re chasing. The third was a good free-kick and we were open and chasing it then.
“Tom didn’t catch the player and he wasn’t hurt but he had both feet off the ground and the referee had to give it. Tom’s not the sort of player who goes in for too many crunching tackles. It was a bad decision and he’s disappointed with it. It cost him and cost the team.”
“That’s how it goes sometimes in football,” continued Symons. “When it’s not your night and things don’t go your way, you have to take it on the chin. It’s disappointing and hard to take. It wasn’t our night but obviously the sending off changed it massively.
“It was always going to be hard to play at the levels we did on Friday night, but we were doing okay in the first half and very much in the game. We were a little bit too open and had conceded a few chances, but the sending off changed it completely.”
The Whites now head to Charlton Athletic on Sunday for a live-on-Sky encounter, and Symons feels the trip to the Addicks represents a good chance for his men to get back on track.
“We’ve been a little bit up and down this season,” stated Symons. “We want to get a good run going and try and get a bit of momentum. We go again Sunday now; it’s a great opportunity, live on telly. We’ve got an extra day to recover and we’ll be positive and upbeat.”
One injury worry from the Wolves game was Ryan Fredericks who was replaced by Kay Voser in the second half.
“From fairly on in the game he felt his groin tighten a little bit,” added Symons. “You saw how quick he was on Friday night but he couldn’t open up tonight and go at full pace. We took him off to stop that getting any worse and he’ll assess him in the morning to see how he is."