The combative midfielder was at fault for two of Hull's goals in the dispiriting 3-0 FA Cup sixth round reverse at the KC Stadium.
But Bardsley said: "The yellow card he received was pretty soft. I think his reputation goes ahead of him. A few of their players chirping has not helped the situation and he found himself getting a yellow card which was undeserved," he said.
"I thought he was brilliant in the first half and very unfortunate with one mistakes. But he is a very strong character, he is my best pal and I don't think you can rate him highly enough."
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