West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Dean Kiely says his side hold no bad feelings towards Coventry City striker Michael Mifsud who was sent off just ten minutes into Monday night's Championship clash at the Ricoh Arena after elbowing Carl Hoefkens in the face.
The Albion defender and Belgian international was left with a black eye and a badly bruised face in his side's 4-0 victory after being clattered by the diminutive City forward.
The sending-off eventually changed the game although ten-man Coventry managed to lead the visitors on a torrid journey during the first half where chances were few and far between for Tony Mowbray's men.
Kiely has revealed it was only a stern half-time team-talk from manager Tony Mowbray which eventually psyched the Baggies up enough to go on a second-half goal feast scoring two goals in two minutes and then a further two before the final whistle.
Mifsud's part in the game was quashed amid much controversy with the Coventry bench claiming referee Dowd appeared to consult with his fourth official Alan Hall via his radio earpiece before pulling the red card from his pocket.
But Kiely, aged 37, says he believes the challenge was reckless and deserving of an instant dismissal.
He said: "In defence of Michael Mifsud, the Coventry players said afterwards that he is not that sort of player and would not do something like that deliberately but I have to say that regardless of that it was a reckless challenge.
"I haven't seen a replay of it yet in TV but I did think it was reckless. 'Hoef' has got a bit of a black eye so he took a bit of a lash."
Kiely said the sending-off should have made life easier for Albion but instead they had to really battle to get anything from the game.
He said: "After the red card, we tried to take them on and keep the ball but first half it just didn't pan out that way.
"Coventry are a very combative side and very difficult to play against. It is a part of the game and it was up to us to stand up to it."
The veteran keeper said: "We have all played in games where the team with ten men really puts the shift in and works really hard to make life difficult.
"In the first half we couldn't find the key to unlock the door.
"Normally we pass and play and probe and try and get and play in behind teams and by half-time we were aware we had a problem.
"The gaffer came in the dressing room and there were a few heated words and rightly so. The way we were playing was way below the standards that we set ourselves so I think he put it on us to put it right."
Kiely admits the team are missing their top scorer Kevin Phillips, although the goals came from a defender and two midfielders.
He said: "You are always going to miss someone like Kevin and I think in all honesty we didn't give Ish (Miller) or any of the lads any real service up front.
"The forwards can't really play if you don't give them the ball they need in dangerous positions - we just didn't do it first half.
"That was down to us but then I think we all took it on the chin and second half we can take a lot of pleasure out of the fact that we had to do it the hard way, had to dig really deep and turn the tide and in the end we played much better football."
The former Charlton Athletic keeper, who joined Albion last January, said that the Baggies were now recognised as a side with top
class players capable of taking the club up to the Premier League this time around.
He said: "It will always be said about us that we have some real quality players and fine individuals and Filipe Teixeira is one who falls into that category.
"You want to give him the ball and get him in the box because you know when he is there he can cause defences trouble and he did that against Coventry.
"He had the only shot in the first half and certainly had his share in the second half, scoring twice and setting up our fourth goal for Robert Koren."
Kiely was devastated to see young midfielder James Morrison stretchered off the field after badly twisting his knee.
He is is due to have a scan on it this week amid fears it may be his cruciate ligaments.
Kiely said: "I feel really bad because it was me who threw the ball to him but he has said that he just turned and got caught in the turf."