Whelan insisted there was no malice in the challenge. He warned that players will no longer want to tackle if they are placed under so much scrutiny.
"I don't think I caught him as much as we was rolling about," said Whelan.
"I've gone in for the challenge and I don't think I tried to be dirty, but it if it looks that way then I'll have to hold my hands up.
"People have talked about tackling going out of the game but that's only because we're not allowing it. It's not as if we don't want to tackle.
"If you're getting pulled up on little things every week then people will stop. It's the English game, the old-fashioned game, and that's what the Premier League is so good for."