Hamilton: Martin Canning says sorry for red card

HAMILTON boss Martin Canning has apologised for the red card which cost his team victory against St Johnstone, even though he insists he should never have been sent off.

Hamilton Player/Manager Martin Canning is dismissed from the field of play. Picture: SNS

The Accies player/boss was dismissed an hour into Saturday’s Scottish Premiership clash with St Johnstone at New Douglas Park after a late lunge on Michael O’Halloran.

Saints striker Brian Graham claimed the tackle could have left his team-mate with a broken leg but Canning hit back, insisting his challenge was “mistimed” not dangerous.

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However, referee Greg Aitken saw enough to flash red at the Accies manager and it proved costly for the hosts as they let the first win of Canning’s reign slip through their grasp when Graham cancelled out Ali Crawford’s strike to secure a 1-1 draw.

“I take the responsibility for getting sent off,” said Canning, whose side take on Dundee United at Tannadice this Saturday. “But I still think having watched it back that it was a harsh decision.

“I went for the ball but was slightly late. It’s not high, it’s not malicious, it’s just mistimed.

“I genuinely thought I would get booked. I did not for one second think the ref would send me off but he did. It was nowhere near as bad as [the St Johnstone players] were making out.

“O’Halloran is very quick and I was slightly late. We broke it down on the video and I missed the ball by milliseconds. It’s a great tackle if you get the ball.

“I was proud of the players for the way they responded, though. They could have folded but instead dug in and got their point.

“I spoke to the players after the game and then again at our team meeting on Monday. I apologised for getting myself sent off.

“I told them I felt if I stayed on the pitch we would have won the game. We were the better team for the 60 minutes I was on the park but I let them down by getting sent off.”