Derek McInnes: I was wrong to react to ‘sectarian singing’

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes says he was ‘wrong’ to make a gesture at Celtic supporters which saw him sent to the stand during his team’s Scottish Cup semi-final defeat but has welcomed the inclusion in the match delegate’s report of ‘sectarian singing’ directed towards him.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes. Picture: SNS

McInnes snapped at chants calling him a ‘sad Orange bastard’ from a section of Celtic fans. On the advice of fourth official Nick Walsh, he was dismissed from the technical area by referee Craig Thomson.

It completed a wretched afternoon for McInnes who saw his team finish with nine men after Dominic Ball and Lewis Ferguson were sent off, while his assistant Tony Docherty was also dismissed at half-time for comments to the match officials.

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“I shouldn’t react the way I did,” said McInnes. “I was wrong to do so and I’ll take my punishment. I should be better than that. I’ve heard that song aimed at me a hundred times and I’ve never reacted to it before. So the frustration from the game has maybe played a part in it.

“The referee or the fourth official deemed my reaction a red card offence. If it is, then I’ll take my punishment for that. But it will be interesting for me to see if anyone else gets punished for the incident.

“It will be in the match delegate’s report, which is refreshing. It’s not always in their report, when they hear sectarian singing. It certainly wasn’t in the League Cup Final earlier this season. But that’s not my fight, it’s for others to condemn. For my part, I take responsibility for my own actions.”

McInnes was critical of Ball’s dismissal as he received a second yellow card for his part in an aerial challenge with Ryan Christie which left the Celtic player briefly concussed and with a suspected broken cheekbone.

“When that ball bounces, both players had to go for it,” said McInnes. “Both were committed to it but I don’t think there is an elbow or flailing arm from Dominic. It was late but it was totally accidental.”

McInnes offered no defence of Ferguson’s straight red card for an over the ball foul on Tom Rogic but suggested his number two Docherty was harshly treated.

“Tony was sent off for acting in an irresponsible manner,” added McInnes. “I heard him at half-time – it wasn’t different to anything you’d hear on a Saturday. That was harsh on him. Four sendings off doesn’t look pretty for us.”