Steve Bruce has apologised to the match officials after he was sent to the stands during his side's 1-0 win at Hull City on Saturday.
The fiery contest, that saw Jozy Altidore and Alan Hutton dismissed, was won by a single strike from Darren Bent and Bruce believes the front man has proved himself worthy of a place in Fabio Capello's World Cup squad for this summer's showpiece.
Whilst admitting he was in the wrong for continually straying outside his technical area, he has queried the referee's decision for giving Hutton his marching orders following an ugly tangle with Altidore.
The America international appeared to head-butt the Scotland full-back after he had thrown the ball at the Hull man's back.
Speaking to reporters, he said:"I have apologised to the fourth official.
"He is judged by somebody making decisions up in the stands and I am out of my technical area, too often probably.
"I apologise, but I was only trying to shout at a defender to get a bit tighter. But I have overstepped the line and for that I apologise.
"I have said it now for weeks – of course he (Bent) should go to the World Cu). I'm not going to try and tell Mr Capello what to do, but for me he is a must.
"Alan Hutton will know that he has done a silly thing.
"He has thrown the ball at him, but it hits him on the back. It is not as if it is going to do any damage to him.
"Alan is lucky he is not seriously injured. He has got a cut mouth, damaged teeth and a cut eye."