SCOTT Davies revealed Ryan Williams apologised to his Oxford United teammates after his red card at Northampton Town on Saturday.
The winger, playing the final game of his loan from Fulham, had opened the scoring with his eighth goal of the season.
Williams was key to a bright start, but he retaliated following a clash with Ricky Ravenhill and was sent off.
It left United playing with ten men for 70 minutes and Northampton took full advantage, going on to win 3-1 to secure their Football League status.
The Australian held his hand up afterwards, but Davies admitted it was hard to be too critical after the loanee had been one of the side’s top performers this season.
He said: “Obviously it was a silly sending-off.
“Ryan apologised to the rest of the team and the staff. He’s only young and has won us so many matches this season that you can’t really have a go at him.
“I thought we were in absolute cruise control for the first 20 minutes.
“We set up with a diamond which we’ve not played this season and it looked like it was working well.
“The last 70 minutes we made it really hard work.
“In the heat on a big pitch against a physical side it was always going to be difficult and they got the better of us.”
It was only Davies’s seventh league start of the season and he is among the group of United players whose contract expires this summer.
The 26-year-old has played for head coach Gary Waddock at Wycombe and Aldershot, but will go into a meeting this week unsure of where his future lies.
Despite the slump in results over the past two months, the midfielder does not believe anyone wants to leave.
He said: “It’s a great club to play for and it would be very surprising if we left and went to better clubs after this season.
“I’ve not played as many games as I would’ve liked and I wish the season went on for a few more months.
“No-one’s got the right to say they are going to be here next season on merit.
“I think we’ve all made mistakes and it’s cost us.
“But people do want to be here. I’ve not heard one person saying they are desperate to get out, because it’s a great club with a great fan base.
“People would be stupid if they wanted to leave because I think it’s going to go on to bigger and better things in the next couple of years.”