Dundee United boss Peter Houston has hit back at former referee Kenny Clark’s accusations in a newspaper column that his side have an atrocious disciplinary problem.
The ex-whistler also claimed that if Houston does not exert some control, it could ultimately cost him the chance of managing the team beyond the end of the season.
Jeno Myrie-Williams became the ninth United player to be sent off this campaign when he was shown red during Sunday’s game against Celtic.
Houston believes it was yet another harsh decision, amid claims that referee Ian Brines confused the former Bristol City player with Prince Buaben.
The Tannadice gaffer says his players are not a dirty team and he insists that Clark, who has embarked on a career on the after-dinner circuit since leaving refereeing in 2008, is out of order.
“Kenny Clark is entitled to his opinion but I will take heed of people I respect in the game instead of someone who thinks he is a comedian,” said Houston.
“He is perfectly entitled to say what he likes but why would I take advice on how to get the manager’s job from a guy who is a lawyer during the day and a stand-up comedian at night poking fun at people within Scottish football?
“I will listen to people like Walter Smith, not a guy who is trying to be a comedian.
“There have been occasions during the season when I have felt we have been hard done by with cautions.
“Equally, there have been other times when I believed we deserved to pick up a yellow and it has not been given.
“I am not complaining about yellow cards as long as they are consistent right through the season.
“I look at some of our sendings-off like Danny Swanson’s at St Johnstone for a tackle which players get away with all the time. Yet, I could show you DVDs where opposition players have done the same thing and only been yellow-carded.Lack of consistency”I’ve seen similar tackles happen loads of times this season, even when St Johnstone came to our place and one of their players did the very same thing but it was just a booking.
“I am only using that as an example and for me they are not bad fouls I would probably do the same if I was still playing but it’s the lack of consistency which is the problem.
“I certainly do not think we are a nasty team.
“Everyone talks about Dundee United as being a big physical side which I for the life of me cannot understand.
“How can we be when we have the likes of Craig Conway, Morgaro Gomis, Swanson and Buaben in the middle of the park they are all small guys.”
Meanwhile, Houston revealed that striker Francisco Sandaza’s year of frustration after undergoing two hernia ops has ended in more misery.
“Sandaza tore his hamstring against Celtic so he’s out for the season,” he added.
“It is a huge blow for him as he has had a horrendous time. When you have been out for as long as he has, these things happen.
“We have told him to go back to Spain in the summer, get rehabilitation and work hard so he is raring to go on the first day of pre-season.
“As for Mihael Kovacevic, the physio thinks he has a nerve problem so we will monitor him.”