Sean Dyche insisted referee Jonathan Moss “ruined” his side’s chances of victory at West Ham by controversially dismissing defender Michael Duff.
The Clarets went down to Mark Noble’s penalty midway through the first half after Duff was sent off for a professional foul on Cheikhou Kouyate.
And Dyche was adamant the decision was wrong, with covering defenders denying the Hammers midfielder a goalscoring opportunity.
The Burnley boss said: “I am wholeheartedly disappointed; for my team and the fans who travelled down, who want to see a game 11 v 11.
“That has been taken away from us because it’s impossible to give a red card, in my opinion.
“Referees have a tough job, but that is not a tough decision.
“It’s a penalty, there’s no two ways about that but their lad still has to try and finish the chance after going round Michael (Duff).
“Jason Shackell is not far away and Ben Mee is recovering. I just find it really difficult to believe that’s a red card and judging by the sharp intake of breath I think there’s a stadium full of people who think that too.
“The referee said he was through on goal and it was a shooting opportunity. I find that one disappointing and I disagree.”
Dyche added: “I thought we were just getting a feel in the game and that happens and it makes it very difficult to win a game. I don’t want to exaggerate the performance, but we were certainly in the game, having had early chances and looking well organised.
“It’s a shame because he ruined the game and left us with a mountain to climb. You can’t guarantee that 11 v 11 you will win, but it gives you a much better chance.”
The third straight defeat leaves the Clarets eight points from safety with just three games remaining, away to Hull City next week, followed by a home game against Stoke City and a final day trip to Aston Villa.
Dyche said: “We have a mountain to climb and if we do it we’re talking folklore.
“But we will give everything no matter that challenge in front of us and you can see there’s no lack of belief and endeavour.
“We’ve needed more moments of quality, but it’s just a sad one when I end a game talking about the referee.”