Dundee Utd: Robbie Neilson says side underdogs for play-off final – BBC Sport

Dundee Utd: Robbie Neilson says side underdogs for play-off final - BBC Sport

He will be in hospital tonight getting his leg amputated – John Robertson on obnoxious fourth official

Dundee United will not be expected to win the Scottish Premiership play-off final regardless of who they face, says head coach Robbie Neilson.

The Championship runners up beat Inverness Caledonian Thistle 3-0 at Tannadice to earn a 4-0 aggregate win.

Dundee United 3 Inverness CT 0 (agg 4-0): Goals galore as Tangerines reach play-off final

Now they face either St Mirren or Hamilton Academical on Thursday, with the second leg three days later.

“We were the team everyone was looking at in this tie but that swings now and were the underdogs,” Neilson said.

“I was delighted to get through because that was the main objective, but we cant think were there yet because its only half done.”

With United 1-0 up from the first leg, Nicky Clark rammed in a spot-kick after Brad McKay was controversially deemed to have handled Peter Pawletts shot.

Osman Sow added a second just after the break to effectively kill the tie, and Pavol Safranko rolled in a late third.

Inverness manager John Robertson was sent off for protesting against the penalty award and Neilson acknowledged United were “fortunate it went our way”.

However he praised Clark, who was “20 seconds from coming off” after toiling for the preceding few minutes following a collision with team-mate Paul McMullan.

“The wee man was brilliant for us tonight and in Inverness; he came on and won the game for us up there with his quality,” Neilson said of Tuesdays 1-0 first-leg win.

“That was a big-pressure penalty and he had the nuts to take it. Hes got real quality but the issue has been getting him fit and keeping him fit but hes a top player.”

The Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager is alleged to have flicked a bottle of water at fourth official David Lowe following the award of a controversial penalty on the stroke of half-time.

His fury was compounded after the final whistle when Lowe prevented him from standing on the pitch side to congratulate United manager Robbie Neilson and his players. The Tannadice side now face either St Mirren or Hamilton Accies in the two-legged play-off final as they seek to return to the Premiership at the third attempt.

Inverness season might now have ended but Robertson intends to take it all away with the SFA as he contests being sent off. He stressed he was prepared to risk a lengthy ban if it means getting justice.

I have been irate before and done some daft things, accepted Robertson I have kicked Csaba Laszlo for goodness sake! All I have done is flick a water bottle about two or three feet in the air and it clipped the back of his [Lowes] heel. I am sure he will be in hospital tonight getting his leg amputated the way he reacted.

After the first goal, there was a water bottle lying there, I flicked it with my foot, it went about a foot in the air and clipped the back of the fourth officials calf which was translated into me losing the plot, getting irate and smashing a water bottle at him, he added.

It was the biggest lie ever and Im prepared to take this all the way. To be sent to stand for that is an absolute joke. This was a fourth official who began by saying speak to me and then ended with dont speak to me…take it up with the referee.

He has lied. I am quite prepared to take it all away. We dont get fourth officials in the Championship and thank goodness we dont. I now know what [Hibs manager] Paul Heckingbottom was on about. We dont get fourth officials in the Championship, thank goodness we dont. All they do is antagonise the two benches.

What happened at the end was incredible. Its the end of our season, all I was doing was congratulating [referee] Kevin Clancy and the other officials on their game, I was waiting to congratulate Robbie Neilson and his players and wish them the best for next week, and again in his arrogance, he [Lowe] comes across and asks me to leave the pitch.

I was told I wasnt allowed to wait on the pitch, that I had to go to the tunnel. The season is over! He then says he will report me again. Nobody was bothered but he wanted to have a go at me. They can ban me for as long as they want. Im taking this all the way.

He has rubbed salt in the wounds by saying: get off the pitch [at the end]. Kevin Clancy was not bothered. The other two officials were not bothered. He wants to make a go of it again.

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