Brandon O'Neill has leapt to the unlikely defence of Newcastle's Jason Hoffman after his dubious A-League red carding – but it's unlikely to count for anything.
The Jets were left a man down for the final 21 minutes of their crucial 1-0 loss to Sydney FC on Saturday night after Hoffman was sent off for kicking out at O'Neill.
Replays showed Hoffman made superficial contact with O'Neill while lying on the ground and the Sky Blues' midfielder said the incident wasn't worthy of a red card.
"No, I didn't," O'Neill said when asked if felt like he was kicked.
"I think he was just on the ground and I was just trying to get the ball.
"He might have misconstrued me stepping over him to do something. I'm definitely not that sort of person. Hoffy's definitely not that sort of person. He didn't really make contact with me.
"Personally, I don't think it was a red card."
Mark Bosnich questioned why the decision was not reviewed by the VAR and said the standard of officiating was "eroding the whole credibility of the league".
Despite the contentious nature of the call, the Jets are under the impression there is no avenue to appeal Hoffman's pending suspension, which will rule him out of Wednesday's clash with Central Coast.
O'Neill said that had referee Adam Fielding asked for his opinion of the incident on the field, he would urged him not to send off Hoffman.
“If the ref came and asked me about it, I would have been honest and said he didn't really make contact ... personally, I don't think there was much in it,” he said.