Paul Cook believes Brett Pitman ‘helped’ get Chey Dunkley sent off in Pompey’s 1-1 draw at Wigan on Saturday.
The Latics defender was given a straight red card after taking a wild swipe at the Blues’ captain in the 59th minute at the DW Stadium.
With the hosts down to 10 men, Conor Chaplin came on as a substitute to cancel out Ivan Toney’s first-half opener with a cushioned header on 76 minutes.
Cook – who left Fratton Park controversially for Wigan in May – thought Dunkley deserved a red card at first glance.
But after watching replays, the Latics boss feels Pitman’s actions aided referee Robert Jones to dismiss Dunkley.
Cook told Wigan Today: ‘You’re looking at the sending-off, and you have to look at the reaction of their lad, Pitman.
‘You have to ask yourself whether that’s how a fellow professional should be acting when he hadn’t been hit.
‘That’s the disappointing thing, and I think we are going to be appealing it.
‘We’ve looked back at it, and there are trailing arms and different stuff. You see Pitman rolling around on the floor, holding his face, and the referee suddenly has a decision to make.
‘People will say it’s professionalism from their lad, and I’m certainly not trying to get at Pitman.
‘He’s a very experienced player, he’s a very good player.
‘But the disappointing thing is, from the referee’s angle, and the reaction of the player and Chey’s arm movement – it does look like Chey’s punched him.
‘Clearly, that wasn’t the case.
‘Pitman has helped the referee to make a decision by his reaction to something that never happened. That disappoints me.’