Jonathan Woodgate defended Neil Harris’s conduct after the Millwall manager was sent to the stands in his side’s 1-1 draw at The Riverside.

The Lions boss was given his matching orders by referee John Brooks for striking Middlesbrough first-team coach Leo Percovich as he tried to to get the ball back into play shortly before the interval.

Percovich was holding the ball in his arm, and Harris made contact with the Uruguayan as he swung to try to dislodge it.

“I didn't think he deserved to (get sent off),” Woodgate said.

"It's one of those things that happen in football, and I don't want to see Neil get sent off.

"He's a fantastic guy and a top manager, and I think the referee can deal with that better.

“There's no point in giving him a red card for the sake of giving him a red card."

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Paddy McNair’s opener was quickly cancelled out by substitute Tom Bradshaw’s first touch on the pitch, it was also the striker’s first league goal for the club since joining over a year ago.

Woodgate however felt aggrieved his side weren’t given two penalties in the tie.

"I don't know if you've seen the two handballs, but they are blatant handballs,” he continued.

“These are the decisions which are going against us at the minute, which is not ideal.

"Sooner or later we'll get the rub of the green, but it's not very often you get two in a game that are blatant handballs.

"I'm not going to start complaining, that's life. You reap what you sow sometimes, and decisions will turn for us, but they are blatant, blatant handballs. You can blatantly see they are two handballs.

"I'll try to speak to the referee. It'll be civilised, I won't go into his room ranting and raving or fighting or anything like that, I'll go in and have a civilised conversation with him."