Hearts boss Jim Jefferies criticised the "shocking" red card shown to defender Eggert Jonsson in the 4-0 defeat by Rangers.
Jonsson was given his marching orders for a foul on Nikica Jelavic in the second half of the loss at Ibrox.
"The sending off was a shocking decision," Jefferies told BBC Scotland.
"And it wasn't any worse than any of the tackles that went on all day from both teams."
Jefferies added: "There's no doubt it was a foul but it was clumsy; it was a bad decision.
A makeshift Hearts side, without experienced captain Marius Zaliukas, Lee Wallace and Andy Webster, found themselves trailing 3-0 at half-time.
"I said to the players at half-time: I feel sorry for you today because you don't deserve to be 3-0 down," said Jefferies.
"We started the game well and Templeton was causing Whittaker a few problems and David Obua played well in the first half particularly.
"I'm proud of every one of them, I know it's a 4-0 defeat we have some experienced players we have missing.
"Yesterday we were working with a back four of Craig Thomson, Webster, Zaliukas and Wallace.
"It wasn't until they came in that they felt there was a reaction, so we had to change it."
The defeat means third-placed Hearts are five points clear of Dundee United with two games remaining.
Hearts majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov will be at Tynecastle on Wednesday for the SPL encounter against Celtic.