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RED MIST: ‘I APOLOGISE,’ SAYS McINNES

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ABERDEEN boss Derek McInnes says he will take his punishment after seeing red at Hampden yesterday.

The Dons gaffer was sent to the stand during the second-half of his nine-man side’s 3-0 hammering from Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final.

McInnes made a gesture in response to sectarian singing from the fans and was immediately bansihed by referee Craig Thomson where he joined his assistant Tony Docherty who had been sent off at the interval.

The Pittodrie gaffer insisted the offenders should also be punished for their part in the incident and that it was not only time the whistler and fourth official Nick Walsh could have shown more understanding in the pressurised atmosphere.

It was a day where it all went wrong for the Pittodrie men for the fourth successive occasion against the parkhead men at the national stadium.

The Reds were beaten in the League Cup and Scottish cup Finals in season 2016/17 and Ryan Christie thumped in the only goal of the League Cup shoot-out in December.

James Forrest opened the scoring for Neil Lennon’s men on added-on time yesterday before Odsonne Edouard rolled in a penalty-kick and Tom Rogic placed No.3 in Joe Lewis’ left-hand corner of the net.

McInnes, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “I shouldn’t react, I should be better than that.

“I let it go the first time. I didn’t the second time, but it’ll be interesting to see if everyone gets punished for me.

“I’ve heard the song hundreds of times sung at me and I haven’t reacted. I think the frustration of the game has played a part in that.

“The fourth official deemed my reaction a red card offence. If it is it is, I’ll take my punishment.

OFF…Derek McInnes appeals to fourth official Nick Walsh.

“The role of the fourth official sometimes is to give you a warning, a chance to let Craig Thomson know what I reacted to. But it fell on deaf ears.

“I don’t want to say anymore, it’s up to everyone else to say their bit.

“It’ll be in the delegates report, which is refreshing as it’s not always in their report when they hear sectarian singing.

“It certainly wasn’t in the last Cup Final. But that’s not my fight. It’s for others to condemn. For my part, I take responsibility for my own actions.

“But the game totally changed on the [Ball] sending-off. I thought it was extremely harsh.

“The first yellow card, one of the officials said it was for stopping a promising attack. Jonny [Hayes] had kicked the ball out of the pitch.

“It is a foul, 100 per cent, I’m not denying that, but I didn’t think it was a yellow card offence. It was Dom’s first foul in the game.

“The second one is difficult. When that ball bounces both players have got to go for it and it’s ended up with young Ryan having a bad injury.

“I think both players have to be committed to it. I don’t think there is an elbow or a flailing arm. It was late and I think it was totally accidental.

“I need to remind people about when [Dedryck] Boyata took Gary Mackay-Steven right out in the Cup Final not so long ago.

“That was deemed to be a reckless challenge, it was late, Gary ends up in hospital.

“Tony was sent off for acting in an irresponsible manner. I heard him at half-time. It wasn’t different to anything you’d hear on a Saturday. That was harsh as him. Four sendings-off doesn’t look pretty.”

OFF…the Dons boss is ordered from the technical area by referee Craig Thomson.

McInnes didn’t have any complaints with Lewis Ferguson’s dismissal for a reckless and dangerous lunge on Tom Rogic that brought an immediate red card.

He added: “It was a brilliant finish by Forrest and we should defend the second goal better than we did before the penalty.

“It was going to be nigh on impossible to get a result from then on it and even worse when Ferguson got sent off.

“That is a red card. It was deserved, it’s something he needs to learn from, he’s allowed his frustration to get the better of him.

“It was a frustrating day for all of us. I’ve been sent off as well for being frustrated.

“For that, I apologise and I’m wrong and I’ll take my punishment as will young Lewis. We’ll learn from it together.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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