Ronald Koeman was critical of Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama after his red card in the 1-0 Premier League victory over West Ham on Saturday.
Maya Yoshida’s early goal proved decisive as the Saints held on for a vital win that improved their recent run of fine form to 13 points from a possible 15, a sequence that has seen them rise to seventh in the table and within two points of West Ham in sixth.
The result came despite Wanyama’s red card – his third this season after previous dismissals against AFC Bournemouth and Norwich City – for fouling Dimitri Payet on 54 minutes.
Koeman was unhappy with that tally despite the controversial nature of the decision from referee Mark Clattenburg, saying the Kenya international had given the official an opportunity to show red.
“That’s too much already,” he told Sky Sports when asked about Wanyama’s record of three reds.
“We mentioned after the Norwich game ‘you can’t do that tackle’ on that place on the pitch and I think it is the same for this situation.
“It is a hard tackle and you give the referee the possibility to give you a red card.
“Of course, I am very pleased with the final result. It was a difficult game from the start and it was made even more difficult after the red card for Wanyama.”
Koeman also praised goalkeeper Fraser Forster and his defenders after a fifth consecutive league clean sheet.
The Saints manager added: “We defended fantastically and even with one less on the pitch we had the best chances to score the second one.
“We showed very good defensive composure and good defending – I don’t remember them getting one big chance really. We won second balls and on the counter-attack we had good chances.
“I don’t think it is a coincidence that since he [Forster] got back we started keeping clean sheets – we had that also last season. He is a fantastic goalkeeper, he looks so quiet and gives a lot of confidence to the defenders.
“That is not criticism to [Maarten] Stekelenburg and the rest of the goalkeepers. He has come back from a big injury, but he is demonstrating how good he is.”