Dundee United manager Csaba Laszlo refused to hold back as he publicly criticised his winger Paul McMullan for being sent off for diving.
Despite being reduced to ten men United reinvigorated their promotion bid with a convincing home win over bottom side Brechin. They are now within three points of Championship leaders St Mirren with a game in hand.
Yet McMullan’s cheap 57th minute dismissal for going to ground all too easily which earned him a second yellow card left the Tannadice manager far from impressed.
Scott McDonald sparked things with a whirlwind opener in the first minute, before Sam Stanton struck in seven minutes, and McDonald made sure with his second within minutes of the restart prior to James Keatings’ penalty.
“It’s a huge mistake from Paul,” said Laszlo who had seen McMullan, pictured, pick up a tenth-minute caution for a foul on Euan Spark. “He’s an experienced player who knows he’s already been booked. And even if you have lost the ball, you don’t try to dive because diving at the moment is one of the most heaviest and easiest punishments.
“History has repeated itself. This is the second time he’s picked up a booking for diving this season. This definitely brings trouble for yourself and your team-mates. If you do this at 1-0 it can be at very different story.”
United were bidding to bounce back from their 2-0 defeat at St Mirren last Friday and scored within 43 seconds. Billy King released Jamie Robson whose cut-back was inch-perfect for McDonald who unleashed a left-foot shot from 14 yards which beat Brechin keeper Graeme Smith.
The hosts increased their lead minutes later. Keatings delivered a clever corner short for Stanton who made it 2-0 with a brisk left-foot shot.
Laszlo’s side killed the contest after the break. Keatings linked with McMullan whose pass wide found substitute Cammy Ballantyne and his cross was swept in by McDonald in 49 minutes.
The hosts went further ahead in 52 minutes when Keatings made it 4-0 from the spot after Smith had raced off his line to bring down McDonald
Then, in 57 minutes, McMullan was ordered off for his second booking having dived as he raced towards the penalty area. Brechin pulled a goal back in 65 minutes when Tam Scobbie pulled down Sinclair at a corner, and he stepped up to make it 4-1 from the spot.