Derek McInnes accuses Kristoffer Ajer and Celtic players

By John McGinley

December 22, 2019

A fuming Derek McInnes has accused Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer of unsportsmanlike conduct after being tackled by Sam Cosgrove during yesterday’s Scottish Premiership clash at Celtic Park, The Scottish Sun report.

Cosgrove received a red card for flying into a tackle on the young Celtic star, but there has been significant debate about the validity of referee Euan Anderson’s decision.

The Dons striker appeared to win the ball from the Celtic defender, but having flown in with extreme force in a rather uncontrolled way, has clearly been judged to have endangered an opponent.

McInnes is having none of it though, claiming that Ajer was antagonising Cosgrove and raising the question of whether the reaction of the Celtic players influenced the referee.

As quoted by The Scottish Sun, he said: “He probably doesn’t need to go in as quick but he gets it cleanly. Big Ajer was laughing and winking at him lying on the ground.

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“There was nothing wrong with the boy, he carried on. I didn’t see anything wrong with him running about. If Sam hits Ajer at that speed, Ajer’s hurt. And he’s clearly not hurt. It’s a brilliant tackle.

“Did the reaction of Celtic’s players influence the ref’s decision? Who knows? You can make your own mind.”

As bitter as ever

It’s one thing to have an opinion on the sending off. It’s clear plenty of people have differing views if the reaction on social media is anything to go by and McInnes is always going to defend his team’s interests.

However, suggesting that the behaviour of Celtic has conned the referee with a question like that is needless.

Anderson wasn’t exactly slow to reach for his pocket. With his assistant referee also getting a close up of the incident, they clearly had an interpretation of the rules that dictated Cosgrove had to go.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes at Celtic Park / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The reaction of the Celtic players is immaterial. There was only five seconds between the tackle and the card being shown, so when are Ajer and the rest of the Hoops supposed to have hoodwinked the referee?

McInnes’ comments come across as bitter if I’m being frank. The Pittodrie boss will have to find better reasons for his side’s stagnation.