Dundee United boss Tam Courts explains why result 'flattered' Celtic and makes red card claim

Dundee United manager Tam Courts didn’t seek to make any great case for his side following their 3-0 Scottish Cup exit at the hands of Celtic. Frustrated at the “out of character” loss of “cheap” goals” he admitted Ange Postecoglou’s team were “the better team”.

Yet, in digesting an horrendous spilling of an easy cross that allowed Giorgos Giakoumakis to put the visitors two-up on the hour, he still felt “the 3-0 flattered Celtic” and that his opponents might have been reduced to 10 men following a rash challenge by Reo Hatate on Kieran Freeman late in the first half that referee John Beaton deemed worthy of a caution. Courts cited the two-game ban later dished out Callum Butcher for wiping out David Turnbull in team’s Tannadice meeting in December for his assessment of the challenge.

“I never want to see players red carded but I felt it was a bit over zealous,” he said of Hatate’s lunge. “I’ve not seen it back so I’ve not seen if he was off the ground. But earlier in the season Callum Butcher made a similar tackle and was retrospectively banned. I don’t want to sensationalise it and the player isn’t overly aggressive but I was trying to look after the player [in calling it out at the time].”

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Meanwhile, Courts has backed goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist to overcome the gruesome moment that befell him with the second goal in United’s push for a top six place in their three games remaining. “[It’s] a mistake by a guy who’s been tremendous for many years,” said the United manager. “Football works in mysterious ways and I told him I wouldn’t be surprised if he does something that helps get us into the top six. He’s a huge character who will be important going forwards.”