Magilton backs Kewell

Melbourne Victory coach Jim Magilton says Glory defender Steve Pantelidis was "naive" to complain about Harry Kewell not being booked for diving.

Melbourne Victory coach Jim Magilton says Glory defender Steve Pantelidis was "naive" to complain about Harry Kewell not being booked for diving.

Kewell was already on a yellow card for a one-footed studs-up challenge on Pantelidis during the first half of Melbourne's 4-1 loss to Perth on Sunday when he appeared to lose his footing twice in dubious circumstances in the penalty area in the second half.

The two incidents have led to an outpouring of complaints against Kewell on online forums, as even Victory fans reacted angrily to their marquee man going down far too easily.

Kewell eventually converted a 68th-minute penalty to pull a goal back for Melbourne, but Pantelidis felt he probably shouldn't have even been on the park to do so after the first incident occurred in the 55th minute.

"Probably the refs protect him a little bit 'cause he's Harry Kewell, so to speak," said Pantelidis after the game.

"But he's a good player, so we're just happy to win the game."

Magilton, though, wasn't impressed with Pantelidis' belief that Kewell is a protected species.

"I think the referee had a decent game," Magilton said.

"And if the referee had felt that there was incidents, that he would have produced a yellow card, then it's down to the referee,"

"I don't think he was protected at all. I think it's a pretty naive comment."