Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes says he was sent off during his sides Scottish Cup semi-final defeat for gesturing to Celtic fans singing a sectarian song he has had aimed at him “a hundred times”.
McInnes followed assistant Tony Docherty – and two of his players – in being dismissed during the 3-0 defeat.
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The former Rangers player added: “I had let it go the first time but I shouldnt react and Ill take my punishment. I was wrong to do so, I should be better than that.”
Big Jozo has got the call over Benkovic at the back to pair up with the very much in form Kris Ajer. The rest of the team is probably as expected. Kick off from Hampden is 2 pm. Weah, Sinclair and Rogic all start on the bench and are all big impact players if they are needed.
“Ive heard that song a hundred times aimed at me so I think frustration from the game has played a part. Itll be interesting to see if everybody gets punished.”
Speaking to BBC Scotland, the Aberdeen manager said he thought a warning from fourth official Nick Walsh would have sufficed.
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“Hes obviously deemed it serious enough to bring the referee over,” he added. “I accept that, Ill apologise for that and any punishment going my way, Ill take it on the chin.”
“I have heard that song aimed at me a hundred times and I have never reacted to it and I think the frustration of the game has added to that.”
The semi-final was goalless when Dominic Ball was sent off for a second booking after an aerial challenge on Celtics Ryan Christie, who left the field on a stretcher after a lengthy stoppage.
James Forrest then put Celtic ahead and Aberdeens Lewis Ferguson was dismissed for a challenge on Tom Rogic shortly before the Australian scored the third goal.
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But McInnes questioned both of Balls bookings, liking the aerial challenge to one by Celtics Dedryck Boyata on Gary Mackay-Steven during Aberdeens 1-0 League Cup final defeat in December.
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“The sending-off changes everything, absolutely everything,” McInnes said. “Any time you go down to 10 men against a good team like Celtic, I think it is pivotal.
Midfielder Ryan Christie has suffered a suspected broken cheekbone or eye socket after a aerial collision with Aberdeens Dominic Ball during Celtics Scottish Cup semi-final win.
“The first challenge, his first foul in the game, Jonny Hayes has actually kicked the ball out the park. The second one, its a difficult one. I didnt see a flailing arm or an elbow, I just think its a clash of heads.
“Its disappointing that for those two offences that Dom Ball then gets sent off. I think its extremely harsh.”
Dominic Ball has thrown his left leg and taken the player, so hes deserved that yellow card. Youre then walking a tightrope. When he sees that challenge on, he should just not go for it.
The 48-year-old made a gesture with an arm after a section of Celtic supporters called him a “sad orange b******.”
I think Derek deserves the support from the board. But two players being sent off and the manager and assistant being sent to the stand, is unacceptable. That is worth a conversation between chairman and manager about the lack of discipline that Aberdeen showed in the second half. Its not acceptable.
Published6 hours ago Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes revealed his reaction to sectarian chants from Celtic supporters led to his dismissal by referee Craig Thomson in the 3-0 William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final defeat at Hampden Park.
In the 72nd minute, with the Dons trailing from to goals from James Forrest, Odsonne Edouard and substitute Tom Rogic, and with defender Dominic Ball, midfielder Lewis Ferguson and assistant manager Tony Docherty all sent off, McInnes incurred the ire of Thomson, via the fourth official Nick Walsh, and was sent to the stands.
Tony was sent off for acting in an irresponsible manner, added McInnes. I heard him at half-time – it wasnt different to anything youd hear on a Saturday. That was harsh on him. Four sendings off doesnt look pretty for us.
The Dons boss claimed Balls second yellow card for heading Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie in an aerial challenge was harsh, so too Dochertys dismissal for something said to Thomson at the interval, but admitted Fergusons straight red card for a foul on Rogic was correct.
Asked if he had reacted to sectarian chanting from the Hoops fans, the former Rangers midfielder said: Well, aye, I let it go the first time.
While names such as Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Martinez have been mentioned as possible successors, Lennon guided the Hoops to effectively within 90 minutes of an unprecedented domestic treble treble against nine-man Dons at Hampden Park.
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Ill take my punishment, but Ill be interested to see if everybody gets punished for it, but I shouldnt have reacted.
The Pittodrie men held out until the 38th minute when they lost Dominic Ball to a second yellow card from referee Craig Thomson after a gruesome clash of heads with Ryan Christie.
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If Neil Lennon wasnt available, it would have been a problem. I think Lawwell wants to give it to him and wants Lennon to put up a pretty compelling case for it and today was a pretty compelling case. But Lawwell would not be doing his job if he wasnt looking around other markets to see who else was available.
The fourth official deemed my reaction a red card offence and, if it is, it is, and I will take my punishment for that.
I think it will be in the delegates report, which is pleasing and refreshing, because it is not always in a delegates report, when you hear sectarian singing. It certainly wasnt the last time at the [Betfred Cup] final here.
Peter Lawwell wants to give the Celtic job to Neil Lennon – I know that. When he appointed him as interim manager, he was very, very grateful Lennon was there and took it and dug him out of a hole.
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But this isnt my battle, it is for others to condemn. But for my small part in it, I take responsibility for it. I didnt react the first time, I did the second time.
Hoops boss Neil Lennon said: I dont know what Derek got sent off for, but, if that is the case, then there is no place for it.
I have ultimate respect for Derek McInnes, I view him as a friend and I think he is a great football manager and, if that is the case, then that is very disappointing, but I dont know the ins and out of that.