‘Too many games decided by refs’ - Kilmarnock’s Steve Clarke

Penalty decisions and a failed appeal have frustrated Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke. Picture: SNS.
Penalty decisions and a failed appeal have frustrated Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke. Picture: SNS.
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Manager Steve Clarke insists he is not on “a crusade” as he claimed referees have had too much effect on Kilmarnock matches this season.

The Killie boss was charged by the Scottish Football Association for criticising the governing body’s disciplinary process after midfielder Gary Dicker lost an appeal against his red card for a challenge on Hearts’ Callumn Morrison at Rugby Park.

Clarke, who also criticised referee Willie Collum’s decision to dismiss Dicker,
will have his hearing on 
25 October.

Ahead of the visit of Celtic in the Ladbrokes Premiership tomorrow, he recalled last week’s 3-2 defeat by Hibernian at Easter Road, in which he claimed the home side were awarded a penalty while his own team were denied a similarly soft claim, as further evidence of his gripes.

He said: “I’ve seen the headlines and seen that I was fuming after the game and all the rest of it but that’s not true.

“I was quite calm and controlled after the game. I spoke about two soft penalties.

“One was given to Hibs, one wasn’t given to us. That decided the game. We deserved to get something from the game.

“But that decision or those two decisions cost us at least a point. So that’s disappointing.

“One of the most disappointing things for me is of the five league games we have played, three of them have been decided by referees. That’s not 

“That’s 60 per cent, that’s too many. One in our favour, two against us. That’s not correct.

“I am not here on a crusade. I am not trying to change… if everyone works together – from the top to the bottom – we have a chance to change but I am not sure we are all working together at the moment and that could be the problem.”

Clarke engineered two draws and a win against the champions last season but insists there was no magic formula.

“Hard work, discipline, good players, nothing else beyond that,” he said.

“It is always a difficult game against Celtic. We have to play at our very very best to get anything from the game and in training this week that is what we have been working towards.

“I feel that we have been competitive in every game and if we are competitive we can give every team a game.

“We will try to be as competitive as we can be and try to pick up more points.”