Paatelainen highly critical of stewards following derby drama
MIXU PAATELAINEN criticised his own club’s security arrangements after becoming involved in an angry confrontation with abusive Dundee fans during yesterday’s 2-2 derby draw at Tannadice, writes Stewart Fisher.
The Dundee United manager felt stewards should have been more pro-active in weeding out troublemakers among the away support then revelled in silencing them as he cupped his ear and pumped his fist provocatively after Billy McKay’s late equaliser.
Police were present to calm the situation after the goal – which keeps United in touch with Kilmarnock at the bottom of the table, albeit seven points adrift with a game in hand – and makes the prospect of a fourth Dundee derby of the season more likely.
“The stewards were not doing their jobs,” said Paatelainen. “They were not stopping the abuse from the Dundee supporters right above us. The stewards were having a chat somewhere else and not doing their jobs. It was total and utter abuse. I am glad not everyone could hear because it would make you blush. I understand Dundee supporters will give us stick.”
Paatelainen insisted he had done nothing wrong in the incident and did not expect to be hearing from SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan. He did question, however, why opposing fans are housed in the Jerry Kerr stand directly behind the home technical area at Tannadice, something of a rarity in Scottish football.
“No, surely not,” the Finn said. “Why? What have I done? I would be very surprised if there was any action.
“Opponents’ supporters are right behind us,” he added. “I don’t know why they are there, but they are there. It was at some points quite difficult to concentrate on the game because of that. But I am delighted we got the equaliser and it could be a very important point.”
A wild afternoon also saw the Finn’s opposite number Paul Hartley, whose side played the bulk of the second half with ten men following the dismissal of goalkeeper Scott Bain for denying McKay a goalscoring opportunity, embroiled in a spat with United goalkeeper coach Stuart Garden. The pair having differing opinions on an on-field tussle between Greg Stewart and Paul Dixon. The lastgasp equaliser, McKay’s second of the day means United haven’t lost to their city rivals at Tannadice in eight games.
CHEERS FOR THE JEERS: Mixu Paatelainen heads for the dressing room, content with a point after volatile afternoon