Dundee boss James McPake has called for “common sense” from officials after seeing defender Ryan Sweeney banned for this weekend’s Hearts clash.
With Tuesday’s defeat at Hibs well into stoppage time, referee Gavin Duncan penalised Cammy Kerr for encroachment, giving a throw-in the other way to Hibs.
That led to a reaction from centre-back Sweeney and a second yellow card for dissent.
That now means Sweeney is suspended for Saturday’s clash with Hearts with Dundee already short on options at centre-back.
And McPake was furious at the decision that rules his player out for such a key match.
“I was frustrated with what was going on all night,” McPake said of the referee in Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat.
“They say they use common sense with certain things and don’t want to be pernickety with players taking extra yards, little things, let the game flow.
“I get that but on Tuesday that must have been one of the most frustrating games to watch, it certainly was for us and the players.
“Ryan Sweeney is as honest as they come. I went in and asked the referee what he said, from the point of view that we needed to deal with it (the red card) internally.
“The referee said he couldn’t comment on what was said other than it was for dissent.
“I don’t get that. I don’t get why he can’t say what my player has said that has annoyed him that much that he’s given him with five seconds to go a red card.
“We talk about common sense…”
‘It’s us that pay the punishment’
Dundee go into Saturday’s match against with third-place Hearts on the back of three straight defeats leaving them just two points off bottom.
They also have a mounting list of injuries with Sweeney’s suspension only adding to the absentee list.
Already missing out will be Lee Ashcroft, Shaun Byrne, Cillian Sheridan and it’s likely Charlie Adam will be unavailable too thanks to a hamstring injury.
“There is a lot at stake, maybe not for them, but there is a lot at stake for Ryan Sweeney, for myself, for Hibs, every manager and player,” McPake added.
“There is a hell of a lot at stake in football and to make that decision with five seconds to go and be very unconvincing with the explanation tells me he’s not completely convinced he’s made the right decision to send Ryan Sweeney off.
“But it’s us that pay the punishment for that.
“I shouldn’t say much more because I’ll get in trouble.
“The other one was Cammy Kerr walking four, five yards to take a throw-in and he gives it to Hibs. Fair enough, no complaints at all.
“But Lewis Stevenson does it five, six times in front of me. I’ve no complaints at all – if they are consistent.
“If they allow Lewie to do it, he has to allow Cammy to do it.
“Cammy stole four yards, it’s against the rules we know, but they don’t want to stop the game, be pernickety and all this…
“I’m not having a go at Hibs or Lewis Stevenson, it’s being clever.
“All I’m asking for is a bit of consistency and that was severely lacking with the officials.”