BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche admitted he was “flummoxed” by referee Darren Drysdale's decision to send of Dean Marney for a second half tackle, which ultimately cost them the game against Birmingham City.

The midfielder competed with Birmingham's Paul Robinson for a 50-50 ball after Ross Wallace had cancelled out Curtis Davies' first-half opener from the spot.

Marney was red carded in the 61st minute for what the referee described as “excessive force”.

Replays showed he had won the ball firmly, but fairly.

Birmingham went on to capitalise on their extra man with Marlon King scoring an 89th minute winner.

“That is my 16th game and I’ve had three sendings off, one for a deliberate hand ball that wasn’t, one for mistaken identity and one for a tackle that was just a great tackle,” said Dyche.

“I don’t know where the line is drawn any more. It’s a hard tackle, but low on the floor and taking the ball cleanly.

“I'm flummoxed at the moment.

“I can’t even fathom how that the referee can later tell me that was ‘excessive force’. Do we now have to tackle softly?

“To be fair, (Birmingham manager) Lee Clark actually came over to me and said he though it was his player being sent off. That’s how strange it was!”