Dundee’s Neil McCann livid at ‘joke’ penalty decision

Dundee manager Neil McCann could not hide his anger at referee Steven McLean’s decision to give a penalty in the 2-1 loss to Kilmarnock.

The Dark Blues had opened the scoring after just 10 minutes thanks to slack Kilmarnock defending and a neat finish from Adil Nabi. However, a Jordan Jones shot was deflected by Andy Boyle and ended up in the back of the net seven minutes later.

The moment of controversy came nine minutes into the second half. Jones burst into the box and went down with referee McLean showing no hesitation in pointing to the spot. However, there appeared to be little or no contact made by Cammy Kerr on Jones.

Speaking after the game, McCann said: “It’s a very emotional game we are involved in with management.”

“We are told about our comments, how we conduct ourselves against the fourth, assistant and the referee, and referees, I’m told, have to be certain it’s a penalty.

“You can’t make that decision if you’re not certain and he said he was certain and I’ve just watched it and there’s not contact.

“It’s a joke of a decision and it’s a pivotal moment in the match because again we’ve got to come from behind.

“Again, so it’s changed the whole outcome of that game because it’s asked us questions to break down a very, very structured, well organised side under Steve Clarke and I’m not taking anything from them.

“They defended well but it helps, it helps their cause and they played on the counter attack.

“It’s how they set up, they’ve got some good players in their side.

“Very talented players, they work hard on breaking teams down, on play, turnovers and then hitting counter attacks.

“So that aside, but the decision is a disgrace and it’s really hard to control my emotions.”

McCann approached the referee after the match and his anger was obvious. Speaking after the game, he revealed what was said between the two.

“I went over to Steven (McLean) after the game and told him that he has to be sure and he just looked at me and I said to him ‘he can’t be sure to make that decision’ because I’m looking at that from, I would say, 50-odd, 60 yards away and I can see Jordan (Jones) has gone down.

“Now players can take a good touch into the box and they are waiting on contact.

“Minimal contact and they will go down.

“It doesn’t take a lot but there is no contact.

“The defining point for me is he (Jordan Jones) has told boys on my team that he has taken a dive and that is pretty sore to take.

“I asked the boy coming off himself and he just shook my hand.

“I shook his hand and I asked him if he gone down and he didn’t answer me.

“I don’t know if he would want to answer the manager.

“It is really sore just now and I’ve told the boys that I feel sorry for them because it is a horrible position to be in.”

Kilmarnock enjoyed a bit of luck in their equalising goal with Jones’ shot deflecting off Boyle and looping high over a helpless Elliot Parish in the Dundee goal.

“You’ve heard a hundred managers say when you’re down sometimes things go against you,” McCann said.

“Again, it was on the counter attack coming through.

“We let him inside, it takes a deflection and it goes in the net.

“There was things tactically that I was possibly not happy with that we can improve on but that (penalty decision) is just gut-wrenching.”

Dundee go into the international break still bottom of the Scottish Premiership and on a run of straight defeats at home stretching back to the start of the league season.

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