Ross County boss Malky McKay offers baffling VAR take after Celtic defeat

By Dave Flanigan

November 13, 2022

Ross County manager Malky McKay has come out swinging in favour of VAR after his team lost 2-1 at Celtic Park in the Scottish Premiership yesterday, having been handed a massive boost in the game via a farcically-awarded penalty kick.

Though they were resolute, County had offered little in the game offensively until Callum Johnson flicked the ball off of Matt O’Riley’s arm on the edge of Celtic’s box with five minutes gone in the second half, allowing David Cancola to coolly slot past Joe Hart after VAR approved referee David Munro’s decision to give a spot-kick.

The vast majority of Celtic Park were incensed by the decision, the latest to go against Ange Postecoglou’s side in the short time that the technology has been in situ in Scottish football, but McKay insisted that decisions like yesterday’s are part and parcel of having VAR in place.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

As reported by The Herald, he said: “There is always going to be subjective ones, we have had a couple against us already. You swallow it and get on with it.

“But I was in at the VAR centre two weeks ago and, having seen what it is that they are actually going through, it is going to take a bit of time and it is going to be better for Scottish football.

“Today’s one went for us, last week’s went against us.”

Despite McKay’s positivity about the technology, he revealed that even he didn’t believe that yesterday’s penalty would be given after a review.

He said: “Ange was remonstrating and I actually said at the time: ‘I’m not sure this is going to be a penalty anyway’.

“So I wasn’t getting too excited about it until he actually hit the spot, and even then I was saying ‘make sure you get people behind the ball’.

“Listen, there are going to be subjective ones but it’s clear in England after a number of years, it’s gone up from 83 to 98 per cent in terms of the accuracy of decisions, and the big ones will always be better for us now.”

Another league win for Celtic, another shambolic VAR performance

How McKay can suggest that yesterday’s ludicrous decision didn’t constitute a “big one” given that the game was 0-0 at the time with forty minutes on the clock is anyone’s guess, though it’s not that surprising that the Staggies boss has come out swinging in favour of VAR given that it aided his team’s only significant attacking moment in the match.

Yesterday was yet another match in the league in which Celtic were given a hugely significant VAR decision to overcome at a key period in the match, and managed to come through unscathed to extend their advantage at the top of the table.

It’s great credit to this manager and squad that they haven’t allowed the ongoing refereeing calamities to even slightly derail their title push, and Celtic are now in a fantastic position going into the World Cup break, nine points clear of their Glasgow rivals.

In other news: Ange Postecoglou reacts to Reo Hatate Celtic masterclass