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.
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.”
“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.”
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Speaking to BBC Scotland, the Aberdeen manager said he thought a warning from fourth official Nick Walsh would have sufficed.
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Derek McInnes: I was wrong to react to sectarian singing
“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.”
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.
Ball was shown a second yellow for the foul on Christie, who was treated on the pitch for several minutes towards the end of the first half. He was carried off with his neck in a brace.
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.
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.
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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.
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“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.
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“Its disappointing that for those two offences that Dom Ball then gets sent off. I think its extremely harsh.”
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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.
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.
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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.
Scott McKenna believes Aberdeen have not been refereed fairly during their two meetings with Celtic at Hampden this season. The centre-back wondered how Dedryck Boyata escaped punishment for his aerial collision with Gary Mackay-Steven but Dominic Ball wasnt so lucky when he cleaned out Ryan Christie. (Scottish Sun)
– Sam Cosgrove claims the referee let Celtic get away with off-the-ball fouls during the semi-final clash. (Daily Record)
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Craig Levein believes Steven Naismith has a chance of being fit for next months Scottish Cup final but will prepare to be without the striker. The Hearts manager does not want to get his hopes up and then risk deflation if Naismith does not recover in time. (The Scotsman)
Goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal hopes to emulate Hearts hero and compatriot Rudi Skacel by winning next months Scottish Cup final. The Czech player knows all about Skacels standing at Hearts and was watching on television when the attacker hit a double in the 5-1 mauling of Hibernian in 2012. (The Scotsman)
Neil Lennon insists he would have no issue with the Celtic board if overseeing the completion of a third consecutive domestic treble is not deemed sufficient to earn him the managers job on a permanent basis. (The Scotsman)
– Jozo Simunovic insists everyone in the Parkhead dressing room is hoping Lennon gets the job on a permanent basis.