Motherwell assistant manager James McFadden claims Mark McGhee’s anger over his Pittodrie dismissal was understandable. McFadden remains perplexed over the reason why the Motherwell boss was sent to the stands on the advice of fourth official John McKendrick during his team’s 7-2 defeat at Aberdeen on Wednesday.
McGhee was involved in an angry exchange with a Dons fan as he entered the stand and claimed after the game he had been the victim of an “agenda” on McKendrick’s part.
McFadden said: “He’s a grown man, he is vastly experienced, and when you feel as though something has gone against you, you are not going to be happy about it.
“As far as I was concerned, there was no issue in terms of the manager being sent off. I don’t know why he was sent off. We weren’t told why he was sent off.
“I think he took offence to being told he was sent off and not given a reason. When the manager got sent off, I never heard a thing.”
McFadden took on media duties instead of McGhee ahead of today’s trip to face Premiership leaders Celtic but the 59-year-old could not avoid being in the limelight courtesy of an Aberdeen fan’s mobile phone footage.
McGhee angrily told the supporter to stop filming but the clip was shared widely on social media.
“I don’t think he saw it but he is obviously aware of what went on,” McFadden said. “That wasn’t ideal, the situation afterwards or the situation at the time. It’s part of the modern world now and something we have to deal with.”
McGhee’s job does not get any easier this weekend as Celtic bid to make it 31 wins from 32 domestic games this season.
“Obviously it’s going to be difficult because of the result the other night but we are professionals and that’s our job,” McFadden said.
“The players are hurting. Everyone expects Celtic to roll over the top of us but we don’t. We are going to go and fight and we are going to go and show everyone we are up for it.
“We want to be the team that stops the run Celtic are on, that’s the challenge for every team in the league.”
McFadden feels they are doing everything possible to iron out the slack play that contributed to their heavy defeat in Aberdeen while gearing up for the Celtic Park clash in a positive mood.
“It was one of those games where everything Aberdeen tried seemed to work and whatever we tried never [did],” he said.
“It was nowhere near good enough and we need to be better and I’m sure we will be. We need to make sure we don’t feel sorry for ourselves and get at it. We stayed up on Wednesday and had a bit of supper and were all together. We were all together in the pool the next day.
“We are not avoiding each other. We are not trying to hide from the fact that we lost 7-2. We met it head on.
“Any time we have had a bad result or bad performance, we have bounced back straight away. I don’t have any problems with the character of the players, they are all up for the challenge and I think you will see that on Saturday.”
Striker Louis Moult is certainly not one who will let the defeat dent his confidence.
Moult is the last player to score a winner for a Scottish team at Parkhead, in December 2015, and hit another double against Celtic a year later before the champions came back to win 4-3.
“We’ve got to go there with belief we can cause an upset,” the Englishman said. “I take confidence into the game knowing I have scored four goals against them in the last two seasons. We go there on the back of a win last season at their place, and also being 2-0 up against them here. They were definitely shaken here. We have to remember that and take it to them.”