Aberdeen moved to within four points of Premiership leaders Celtic with a 1-0 victory at Tannadice last night but manager Derek McInnes admitted he had feared the worst when the referee ruled out a second goal.
The incident in the first half, in which Graeme Shinnie was booked for a dive in the build-up to Paul Dixon’s own goal, provoked an angry outburst on the sidelines and the Pittodrie boss was sent to the stands.
Afterwards he said he had apologised to the officials but he had not changed his opinion on the decision. “I think I was wrong and I think the referee was wrong. I spoke to Bobby [Madden] and the officials and apologised,” he said. “I have seen it again. How I felt at the time is how I feel now. I thought the goal should have stood. My player gets booked for simulation which, for me, was clearly not the case.”
“It was a bad call and thankfully we don’t have to dwell on it too much. But if we get that second goal then we would have had a real stranglehold of the game, it becomes less nervy and we would go on and make more of that. It was a lifeline for United at that stage.”
Aberdeen felt they had a point to prove after they failed to close the gap at the weekend and now believe they can maintain the pressure in the run-in.
“With ten games to go, we’ve got a ten-game season and we’re confident we can win games that can keep everybody interested,” added McInnes. “We have been given every encouragement from [Celtic’s] last couple of results. People spoke about that we hadn’t maximised Saturday’s opportunity,and we didn’t – it was a missed opportunity. But we did say there are still plenty points to play for and it’s our job to get as many of those as possible.”