Wellington Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay has defended the actions of Louis Fenton after he was involved in a sickening collision in their latest A-League football match.
The Phoenix lost 1-0 to Western Sydney in a match that will be remembered for Wanderers striker Nicolai Müller suffering a suspected broken jaw, after a clash of heads with Fenton in the first half which saw him knocked out and convulsing on the ground.
The Fox Sports commentary team were clearly disturbed by the incident at the time.
"He's gone. He's gone before he hit the turf. It's a horrible sight."
When asked if Fenton was lucky to only receive a yellow card for the mistimed aerial challenge, coach Talay backed the call from the referee.
"I think it was 50-50, maybe he was a little bit late in the challenge but the referee made a call.
"But Louis is not the type of player that comes into a challenge with any kind of malice."
However, Fox Sports commentator and former Socceroo Robbie Slater said the challenge clearly warranted a red card from the referee.
"It should have been a straight red card," Slater said. "He horribly misjudged his effort on the ball. If he misjudged a tackle like that in the centre of the field on the ground on his legs there would not have been any debate about getting a red card."
The loss meant the Phoenix missed the chance to secure a place in the A-League finals.
The side next face fourth-placed Brisbane on Wednesday evening in their penultimate regular season game. Talay will be without Luke Devere through suspension, but will welcome back fellow defender Tim Payne who has now completed a four-match ban for his golf-cart joyride in March.