Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic said the sending-off of Denis Odoi proved the turning point in his side’s 3-1 defeat against Brentford.
Odoi was walking a disciplinary tightrope having been yellow-carded in the first half and given a final warning by the referee shortly before he bodychecked Ollie Watkins.
Jokanovic refused to blame Odoi but hinted he was considering sacrificing the defender just as he made the foul that saw him dismissed.
“In one moment, we are thinking about avoiding this kind of situation and making some movement from the bench,” the Whites boss said.
“But I cannot change all the players with one yellow card. At the end, the referee took this decision. It wasn’t a particularly strong challenge.”
Jokanovic also defended his tactical move of dropping striker Rui Fonte and playing midfielder Stefan Johansen in a so-called false nine role.
“I have played many times with a fake striker,” he said.
“This is not the first time and it’s probably not the last. This plan was working well. We stopped especially [Ryan] Woods from switching the ball from one side to the other.
“We played 45 minutes well. We started sloppy in the beginning of the second half.
“It’s easy to make an analysis of what happened – they scored an easy goal, we can avoid this kind of situation, and then after the second yellow card for Denis Odoi it started to be really complicated for us.”