New A-League club Melbourne Heart are starting to get a slight reputation as a dirty team after having three players sent off in their past four games and another suspended for two matches.
But football manager John Didulica has denied that the Heart are an aggressive outfit, explaining that there are excuses for all four instances.
About a month ago, central defender Michael Beauchamp was given a straight red for a 'soft' headbutt on Central Coast Mariners midfielder Oliver Bozanic while more recently, left-back Dean Heffernan and youngster Aziz Behich were handed two yellows as Dutch forward Gerald Sibon was slapped with a two-match ban for a challenge on Melbourne Victory's Grant Brebner on Friday night.
Didulica is of firm belief that his club is not dirty but merely a victim of circumstance and coincidence that the sanctions have been given in successive weeks.
''It is very disappointing. We pride ourselves on being fair and playing the game the right way. If we are honest we probably got the rough end of the stick on some of those decisions," he said.
''Heffernan and Aziz got two yellows, and we felt Beauchamp's red was a bit soft.''
The Heart will be looking to stay away from the red cards when they take on Wellington Phoenix, who have not lost in 23 games at Westpac Stadium.