McFadden stands firm as club chal­lenges red card

Ap­peal is not games­man­ship – de­ci­sion was harsh, says Mother­well as­sis­tant man­ager


JAMES McFADDEN, the Mother­well as­sis­tant man­ager, in­sists the club is right to put its money where its mouth is and chal­lenge Scott Mc­Don­ald’s con­tentious red card against Rangers.

The Aus­tralian striker was dis­missed mid­way through the first half on Satur­day, wip­ing out Mother­well’s man ad­van­tage af­ter Michael O’Hal­lo­ran’s early bath in the first five min­utes. Mc­Don­ald was or­dered off by Wil­lie Col­lum for a late chal­lenge on Kenny Miller im­me­di­ately in front of the dug-outs, a de­ci­sion that was a big con­tribut­ing fac­tor to the home side even­tu­ally go­ing down 2-0.

McFadden was just yards away from the call that his man­ager Mark McGhee blasted as the wrong de­ci­sion in the af­ter­math of Satur­day’s early kick-off. As re­vealed in yes­ter­day’s Herald Sport, Mother­well are ap­peal­ing the or­der­ing-off to the SFA, mean­ing the 33-year-old will be in line to fea­ture for McGhee’s team in Ding­wall tonight against Ross County.

How­ever, the Fir Park as­sis­tant has bat­ted away the no­tion the chal­lenge – which will cost the La­nark­shire out­fit £1,000 if the red is up­held – is be­ing made so Mc­Don­ald will fea­ture in tonight’s Premier­ship tie, in­stead re­it­er­at­ing their be­lief that their striker de­serves to be vin­di­cated.

“I felt at the time the de­ci­sion was harsh. Scott’s taken a bad touch and then he’s tried to clear the ball rather than go through it and take the man,” said McFadden. “He’s not that sort of player but that’s not what I’m say­ing – he was just un­for­tu­nate that the con­tact was so close. He hasn’t lunged from a dis­tance be­cause the ball was right in front of him and so we have grounds for an ap­peal.

“It costs £1,000 for an un­suc­cess­ful ap­peal, so we’re not do­ing this lightly. We be­lieve Scott was hard done to and there were worse tack­les in the game that went un­pun­ished.

“We need him and we want him to play, but we’re not do­ing this just so he’s avail­able for the Ross County game. The ap­peal can’t be heard un­til Thurs­day, but this isn’t games­man­ship on our part. We be­lieve he’s in­no­cent. Peo­ple say the ref­eree might have been evening things up be­cause he’d al­ready sent one of their play­ers off but the re­ac­tion from their dug-out and the way it looked prob­a­bly didn’t help Scott.

“It’s hard to say but I don’t want to get into a bat­tle with ref­er­ees.”

Get­ting Mc­Don­ald back in a claret-and-am­ber jersey at the Global En­ergy Sta­dium tonight may not be the mo­ti­va­tion be­hind the ap­peal, but it is cer­tainly a Bru­cie bonus for a team in need of three points. Mother­well travel north sit­ting in the deep south of the Lad­brokes Premier­ship in 10th place but know­ing a win could pro­pel them into the top six.

The tricky Aus­tralian played a mas­sive part in sharp­en­ing the fo­cal point of the Mother­well at­tack the pre­vi­ous week at Ibrox in the William Hill Scot­tish Cup. Adding to his eight goals al­ready earned this sea­son would be handy, too. McFadden is un­der­stand­ably not pan­ick­ing over Mother­well’s lowly po­si­tion in the ta­ble at the mo­ment, but that doesn’t stop him from un­der­stand­ing the value of a suc­cess­ful jaunt to the High­lands. “I imagine Scott will ap­pear at the ap­peal be­cause he feels strongly about it ,and we do as well. So, hope­fully, we’ll get a pos­i­tive out­come,” he said.

“Did I watch him dis­cussing it on Sportscene on Sun­day? Lis­ten, I hear him of­ten enough at work – I don’t want to put my telly on and hear him at home as well.

“We want to get away from there. We keep say­ing that our per­for­mance lev­els have been good but a com­bi­na­tion of in­di­vid­ual mis­takes and not get­ting the luck that you need has hurt us.

“But we need to go on a run. We thought that was go­ing to start at Ibrox last week but it’s up to us to turn things round and the only way to do that is through hard work and de­ter­mi­na­tion. We’ll need those qual­i­ties in Ding­wall be­cause we know County are a tough side, es­pe­cially up there, but we’ll be ready for it and we’ll give it as much as we can.”

Mean­while, McFadden also re­vealed Mother­well are waiting for an an­swer from Stephen Pear­son on a deal to bring him back to Fir Park for a third time. The 34-year-old mid­fielder has fin­ished a spell in In­dia with Atletico de Kalkata and, as a free agent, can af­ford to take his time be­yond tonight’s trans­fer dead­line to pon­der his next move.

“We have of­fered Stephen a con­tract and he’s go­ing to take a cou­ple of days to de­cide,” said the Mother­well as­sis­tant. “Stephen scored a lot of goals for us last year and would be a great ad­di­tion to the squad, the team and the whole club.

“It would be a deal un­til the end of the sea­son at the minute but I don’t know the ins and outs. He has played at the high­est level, he works hard and he’s a fit boy. Stephen scores goals and would be the right type of char­ac­ter for our dress­ing room.”

It costs £1,000 for an un­suc­cess­ful ap­peal, so we’re not do­ing this lightly. We be­lieve Scott was hard done to and worse tack­les went un­pun­ished

Pic­ture: SNS

CON­TRO­VER­SIAL CALL: De­jec­tion for Mother­well’s Scott Mc­Don­ald, right, af­ter be­ing shown a red card.

NO WAY THROUGH: Partick This­tle keeper To­mas Cerny has en­joyed a run of four clean sheets.

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