Dundee United’s Cammy Smith has refused to slate his former team-mate Paul McGinn for a reckless challenge during Saturday’s William Hill Scottish Cup tie against St Mirren.
The Tangerines had cruised into a 2-0 lead by half-time at the Simple Digital Arena with the Buddies coming out fired up in the second 45 after some choice words from boss Oran Kearney.
However, just before the hour mark, former Dundee full-back McGinn was guilty of a shocking forearm smash into the face of Smith with referee Willie Collum incredibly only deeming the offence worthy of a yellow card.
United boss Robbie Neilson and his players were understandably furious with the decision, with their sense of injustice increasing when Calum Butcher was shown a straight red shortly after.
The Buddies then pulled a goal back but United held on to ensure they are in the hat for tonight’s quarter-final draw.
After the dust had settled, Smith, who joined United for his second spell at the club after leaving St Mirren last month, refused to be too harsh on someone he shared a room with in pre-season.
Smith said: “It was Paul McGinn, which was nice of him.
“Pre-season we shared a room in La Manga so I will need to give him a phone to ask him what that was all about.
“If the referee thought our one was as bad as that, then Paul’s was also as bad.
“I am not asking for Paul to get sent off as I get on really well with him but they are either both a yellow card . . . one wasn’t any worse than the other.
“But there is a mutual respect there and he is a good lad.
“At that point we were dominating the game and were 2-0 up so he has maybe thought we are not having any more of this.
“But that’s part of the game – it was fine and he will probably text me later.”
Neilson though was not so understanding and could not believe Mr Collum had not shown McGinn a red.
The manager said: “I thought it was a disgrace. He saw it, the fourth official saw it.
“The referee’s decision not send Paul McGinn off made it a fight and a battle. Everyone starts kicking each other and he tried to calm it down by sending one of my players off.
“He’s probably seen my player going in and he’s thought, ‘I need to calm this down’, because as soon as he doesn’t send McGinn off, everything just escalates and they think they can get away with anything.
“But to come to a Premiership club and dominate for a considerable 55 minutes was good.”