Southampton manager Ralph Hassanhuttle thinks he may have been “misunderstood” after being accused by the Football Association (FA) of making comments about video assistant referee Mike Dean.
Hasanhutl was unhappy after sacking captain James Ward-Pros during the Saints’ 1-1 defeat to Chelsea earlier this month.
Midfielder Ward-Pruss was initially shown a yellow card by referee Martin Atkinson for delaying Jorginho at Stamford Bridge, but Dean was promoted to red after his teammate reviewed the incident on a pitchside monitor.
Hassanhutl, whose side won their first Premier League win of the season by beating Leeds 1-0 on Saturday, were charged on Thursday and will have to respond by Tuesday.
“Maybe they misunderstood me, or the media misunderstood me,” the Austrian said.
“What can I say? I am generally a manager who is always very respectful of the referee and the way I wanted to argue about it was not in a negative way.
“I wasn’t saying bad things about Mike Dean. But let’s talk about it (at the hearing).”
Ward-Prous’ red card came in the 3rd minute of the match on 2 October, the score was 1-1, before Chelsea had scored twice against 10 men.
An FA statement said: “It is alleged that the manager’s comments during the two post-match interviews were inappropriate, questioning the honesty and / or underlying bias of the VAR match official and / or disrespecting the game.”
The first game of a three-match ban in England’s international word-process ended in a weekend win over Leeds – ending 102 consecutive top-flight appearances.
Nathan Redmond took charge of the set-piece in his absence, when central midfielder Ibrahima Diallo received praise from his manager, getting the chance to start the first league of the campaign.
“It’s not easy for the captain to step in and perform like that but I think Ibrahimovic was waiting for this opportunity,” said Hassanhutel.
“He is certainly a midfield player of good pace, can carry the ball quite well and his value against this opponent (Leeds) was crucial.”