. . . McInnes says Tav­ernier only has him­self to blame

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FRONT PAGE - MATTHEW LIND­SAY

DEREK McINNES, the Aberdeen man­ager, last night sug­gested James Tav­ernier, the Rangers right-back, must shoul­der a share of the blame for con­ced­ing the free-kick that led to his side’s win­ning goal at Pit­to­drie yes­ter­day.

Mark War­bur­ton, the Rangers man­ager, was fu­ri­ous that John Beaton, the match ref­eree, ruled that Tav­ernier had fouled Jonny Hayes in a dan­ger­ous po­si­tion just out­side his own penalty area with a minute of reg­u­la­tion time re­main­ing.

Tele­vi­sion re­plays later showed the de­fender had won the ball with a clean chal­lenge and War­bur­ton also re­vealed that Don Robert­son, the fourth of­fi­cial, had ad­mit­ted to him that it had not been a foul.

How­ever, McInnes, whose side won the Lad­brokes Premier­ship match with a sen­sa­tional James Mad­di­son strike, was of the view that Tav­ernier, who had been caught out of po­si­tion at the home team’s first goal, was partly at fault.

“I think Tav­ernier gets him­self in a bad po­si­tion,” he said. “He then has to tackle and it’s a wee bit des­per­ate from be­hind. I’ve not seen it again, but my first thought was that it was a free-kick.

“If they’re un­happy it’s maybe be­cause they’ve seen it again and maybe he did touch the ball. But he was in a poor po­si­tion to start with.

“When you go to ground – like Jonny [Hayes] did at their penalty when he brings [Lee] Wal­lace down – you’re play­ing with fire.

“We still had to pro­duce the goal. And there were a lot of chal­lenges I wasn’t too pleased with that we didn’t get. But I can un­der­stand, be­cause it’s been com­pounded with a win­ning goal, that they’re more up­set.”

Rangers, who had can­celled out Jonny Hayes’s open­ing goal with an Andy Halliday penalty in the sec­ond half, failed to win for the fifth time in seven Premier­ship out­ings this sea­son.

War­bur­ton, whose side are now seven points be­hind league lead­ers Celtic – who have a game in hand – ad­mit­ted the in­ci­dent which led to Aberdeen scor­ing the win­ning goal had been dif­fi­cult for him to take.

“I will be care­ful what I say about the free-kick,” he said. “Ev­ery­one saw the ball move. The fourth of­fi­cial on the side­lines saw the ball move and made a com­ment. And yet a free-kick is given.

“You have got to be, I think, 100 per cent sure in th­ese type of games, in those ar­eas of the park. If that had been in the box, would it have been a penalty?

“I thought the ref­eree han­dled a dif­fi­cult game very well. He did a re­ally good job up to that point, but to give that one there is frus­trat­ing be­yond be­lief.

“But we moved to the next level to­day as a team and we are get­ting bet­ter. The boys are set­tling in and we were de­lighted with long pe­ri­ods.”

TOUGH CALL: The ref­eree moves in to book Rangers’ James Tav­ernier for the con­tentious foul on Aberdeen’s Jonny Hayes which led to James Mad­di­son’s goal.

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