Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton insists he will continue to stick up for his players after seeing yellow at the weekend.
Late on in Town’s 3-0 win at Shrewsbury Town, Barton was cautioned by referee Kevin Johnson shortly after an exchange of views between the two dugouts.
Nevertheless, he insisted that his ire was triggered by events on the pitch.
“I just thought one of their players had led with his elbow,” Barton explained afterwards.
“I remonstrated with the fourth official; I remonstrated a bit too much and get a yellow card.
“It’s stupid from me but I don’t want to see my players getting hurt.
“The last thing you want is someone catching a stray elbow and breaking a cheekbone or breaking a nose.
“It’s the last thing you need when it’s 3-0 and game over.
“I understand Shrewsbury’s frustration but it doesn’t give you the right to hurt the opposition players just because they are better than you.”
All eyes are now focused on Saturday’s game when League One leaders Ipswich Town make the trip to Highbury.
Having been able to bring top scorer Paddy Madden off the bench on Saturday, Barton acknowledges he has a welcome selection headache.
He said: “I know Paddy wants starts but we have players coming back from injury.
“Macauley Southam-Hales and Conor McAleny, hopefully, are about to put themselves back in contention and we’ve got to keep nurturing that.”