Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke believes Aberdeen counterpart Derek McInnes should be brought to book by the Scottish Football Association for claiming Jordan Jones went down without contact to win a penalty on Saturday.
Dons had taken the lead in the William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final tie at Pittodrie through Graeme Shinnie, but Killie striker Kris Boyd levelled from the spot after winger Jones tumbled to the ground as he nipped between defenders Shay Logan and Kari Arnason inside the box.
The game ended 1-1 to set up a replay at Rugby Park on 13 March, and McInnes said of the penalty incident after the match: “I think he goes down without any contact.”
However, ahead of tonight’s Ladbrokes Premiership visit of St Johnstone, a fiery Clarke responded, saying McInnes should have to explain his comment to the authorities.
“I thought he was out of order,” said the Killie manager. “I thought it was a cheap shot. I am not happy, of course I am not happy.
“It was a clear penalty. The referee was ten yards from the incident and saw it clearly, and there was no reaction from the two Aberdeen players involved in the incident.
“I saw the television replays that Derek said showed there was no incident. I have watched the replays, everyone has watched the replays, and the general consensus of almost everyone in the country is that it was a clear penalty.
“Why is he allowed to come out and imply that Jordan Jones dived? I don’t understand why he gets away with that. Surely the authorities have to ask him to explain himself?
“I would like to think they should remind managers of their responsibilities when they speak to the press after the game. Most times managers are responsible when they speak to the press. If you are going to make an accusation like that without evidence then I think it is disappointing.”
The winners of the replay will face Motherwell in the semi-final with Rangers taking on Celtic, but Clarke was unwilling to look past Aberdeen. He said: “We are not in the semi-final so no reaction to the draw. We will have a difficult replay here against Aberdeen and if we get a positive result then we will speak about the draw.”
Rejuvenated Killie, with one defeat in 15 games, will leapfrog fifth-placed Hearts and go eight points behind Hibernian with a game in hand with a victory over Saints.
Clarke, however, remains focused on staying safe rather than on Europe.
He said: “I don’t think we can talk about European football, certainly not through league positions.
“St Johnstone are maybe not quite as happy with their performances this year as in previous years, but they have been a great example to clubs like ourselves about consistency and finishing in the top six and challenging for trophies.
“We give them full respect tomorrow and expect a really difficult game here.
“The incentive for us is to maintain the form we have had recently, get as many points as we can and keep pushing away from the bottom of the table.”