Nuno Espirito Santo has called for a rule change after his first match in charge of Nottingham Forest was ruined by a controversial red card for Willy Boly in a last-gasp 3-2 defeat to Bournemouth.
Boly was sent off in the 23rd minute for two yellow cards, with referee Rob Jones brandishing the second despite the defender clearly winning the ball in a tackle with Adam Smith.
Dominic Solanke went on to break Forest hearts as he completed a hat-trick, heading home a winner in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
Nuno, who took over from the sacked Steve Cooper earlier in the week, was left frustrated by rules which mean VAR cannot intervene to downgrade a yellow card and wants to see a change.
“Very bad decision,” Nuno said. “A decision that totally changed the game.
“It is more the frustration of knowing the approach of the referee is a bad one and the law says you cannot reverse the decision because it is two yellow cards. It is something they have to look at because it doesn’t make sense.
“First of all, the approach of the referee is bad. Boly has a first yellow card, which is fair, but then for the second the foot of Boly is under the foot of the Bournemouth player so the approach (from the referee) should be more cautious.
“Wait a little bit for the help of an assistant or the help of VAR, hold your decision and they will tell you. But after that he cannot reverse the decision.
“Our fans deserve better decisions. They come here to see football and suddenly they see something which really changes the game.
“I saw it over and over and over again to try and understand because I respect the referee. I know it is a tough job. I have seen it many times and I cannot understand it, I cannot understand it. It was bad. It is a mistake, a huge mistake.”
Ten-man Forest went ahead through Anthony Elanga before two goals in seven minutes by Solanke put the Cherries in front.
Chris Wood’s header looked to have earned a point on Nuno’s debut until Solanke sent a header home at the death.
Andoni Iraola, who has guided his side to five wins from the last six games, picked up a booking for waving an imaginary card after the Boly incident, which means he will be banned from the touchline for the Boxing Day clash with Fulham.
The Spaniard, who has two prior offences, is also feeling hard done by.
“This is big mistake for me because when the incident happened I asked for a yellow,” he said.
“I thought nobody saw me but you have the fourth official.
“I think it is too harsh, it was instinctive and I will not be able to be in the dugout. All the yellows are for the same reason.
“Sometimes we are still players, I know I need to improve but I think it is too harsh because I will not be able to be in the dugout against Fulham and that is a big frustration.”