Dundee United boss Ray McKinnon still believes Lewis Toshney is a victim of injustice – but Friday night’s sending off is one the player has to learn from.
The 24-year-old was dismissed just 31 minutes into the crunch game against league leaders Hibs after picking up two bookings for challenges on Andrew Shinnie.
He is now set to miss this evening’s game against St Mirren in Paisley as the Tangerines look to bounce back from the 1-0 defeat against the Edinburgh side.
McKinnon admits he will not be trying to change Toshney’s all-action style of play but he does expect the player to use better judgement in the future.
McKinnon said: “Blair Spittal is injured and although we are still waiting on confirmation, Lewis Toshney will also be missing through suspension.
“I have looked at the second yellow again and he doesn’t touch him. He pulls out of it but he shouldn’t be thinking about going into it anyway.
“That’s the way he plays and we had him fired up for the game as he had been out for three weeks.
“We wanted him all over John McGinn and I thought he was very quiet.
“I am not going to knock that out of him but he just needs to curb it a little bit.
“He shows great enthusiasm to win tackles and get in about people but he just needs to control it a wee bit better.
“It was a bad decision from the ref but Lewis has to learn from it.”
After Friday’s disappointment, there was good news on Monday when the club confirmed that star defender William Edjenguele had signed a two-year extension with the club.
That delighted the manager who has also been running the rule over potential summer signing targets.
However, McKinnon is determined to carry out due diligence and will only bring in players he is certain are good enough for Dundee United.
He said: “I think William has been outstanding for us.
“We are maybe working on another one. We are just trying to build for next season and get the right people at the club.
“We will take our time. We have been looking at lots of players recently and some that we thought we would go and sign, we have had a look at them two or three times now and we are thinking, ‘No. They are not good enough for Dundee United’.
“We are doing everything properly and are watching everybody as much as we can.”
When asked if it was good that there was a game so quickly after the Hibs defeat, McKinnon said: “Definitely. We just want to win as many games between now and the end of the season as possible.
“The boys showed great spirit on Friday and if they can show the same determination and discipline then hopefully we will win more than we lose.
“The plan is still the same as at the start of the season – to finish as high as possible.
“Nothing has changed. I don’t worry about the table as we still have to play all these teams.
“If we win our games in hand we go back up the table.
“Falkirk are not too far behind Hibs. They are good sides and that is testament to the quality in this league.
“We know it is going to be tough but we just need to try to win as many games as we can before the end of the season and then take it from there.”
St Mirren may still be propping up the Championship table but boss Jack Ross bolstered his squad in January with a whole host of players including former Dundee midfielder Stephen McGinn and Cammy Smith who United had on loan from Aberdeen earlier in the season.
Their results have improved since and McKinnon is expecting a challenging contest.
He added: “They are a decent side who have picked up recently.
“Jack has done a good job there. They did well against Celtic and he has got a bit of a reaction from them.
“They definitely have a better chance of staying in the league now so it will be a tough one.”