Southend manager Paul Sturrock was furious with Bilel Mohsni after his red card contributed to the club's FA Cup exit at Oldham - hinting that a dismal disciplinary record could jeopardise his future at Roots Hall.
Mohsni, already on a yellow card, lunged at Dean Furman after 38 minutes and collected his second booking - with the French-Tunisian now facing his third suspension of a season which has also seen him involved in a dressing room fracas in August.
Sturrock, whose side have now lost three games on the spin after a 17-match unbeaten run, said: "I must apologise to our fans because the situation with Bilel has been ongoing for a long time."
He added: "I have tried to benefit the football club with his ability but it was to our detriment in this game and we are out of the cup. I know there's a footballer in there but Bilel has cost us too many times and this was totally unacceptable. I probably should have taken him off before the red card. He was a walking foul.
"I will debate what happens next with the powers that be. We can't keep having this indiscipline on the pitch. I take responsibility because I pick the team, but it's hard enough beating a League One side with 11 men.
"The rest of them gave everything and, with 11 men on the pitch, we had most of the pressure. We peppered their keeper, but the sending off was a big lift to Oldham's players."