Caretaker boss Mark Smith hit out at referee Paul Armstrong as Sheffield Wednesday crashed out of the Carling Cup at Coventry.
Whelan's dismissal did not help Wednesday's cause
In front of prospective new boss Paul Sturrock, Owls had Glenn Whelan sent off for violent conduct.
Smith said: "I have to be careful what I say, but to say I thought he was poor is an understatement.
"To send someone off for violent conduct there has to be intent, and I don't think that was the case."