Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill has stood by Boris Stankovich after the prop was sent-off for a high tackle against London Irish.
Stankovich got his marching orders for a high tackle on scrum-half Darren Allinson, but Tigers held on to win 22-15 to stay in the competition.
"It was a bit harsh. I really feel for Boris because he is not a dirty player. It was a yellow at most," said Cockerill after the LV= Cup victory.
"Boris has gone with his arms against a smaller player and the guy slipped into him. I think the referee was the only person in the place who thought it was a red.
"If it goes to disciplinary I hope the sending off is sufficient because Boris will be important to us in the next couple of weeks.
"It was a disappointing decision but the lads got on with it. We conceded a try and the momentum went against us but our defence was outstanding."
George Ford was key to the LV= Cup win with five penalties and boss Cockerill moved quickly to dismiss the 19-year-old wanted to leave the club because he was unhappy.
"George is considering his future because he is out of contract, nothing new there. We want him to stay and I have every confidence he will stay," he said.