Aberdeen defender Ash Taylor believes team-mate James Maddison is in danger of being unjustly labelled a diver in Scottish football.
Maddison received his third caution for taking a tumble of the season in Tuesday’s 2-1 Premiership win against Hamilton Accies at Pittodrie.
The Dons have successfully appealed one caution and Taylor insists the only thing the on-loan Norwich City midfielder is guilty of is being too quick for his opponents. Taylor said: “When a player’s card is marked he gets known for diving and it’s unfair as James isn’t that sort of player. He buys fouls as he has quick feet. I know as I’ve kicked him a few times in training. It’s harsh on him, but what can he do? The referee makes the decision and he has to get on with it.
“It comes with the type of player James is. He takes the ball in tight areas and takes players on so he is always going to get kicked.
“Opposition players try to stop him any way they can as he is a very influential player who finds pockets of space and hurts teams.
“It looked like he was kicked against Hamilton but unfortunately he has to accept the decision.
“The same thing happens with Jonny Hayes as he is so quick and the slightest touch is going to knock him over.”
Maddison and the Dons will try to end 2016 with a hat-trick of wins by beating Hearts at Tynecastle tomorrow.
The Jambos recorded their first win under new manager Ian Cathro when they beat Kilmarnock 4-0 on Tuesday but Taylor believes victory in the capital will set the Dons up well for the second half of the campaign.
He said: “Our focus is on going into the winter break with three wins.
“Hearts are a good team and I’m sure it will be a tough game. There are plenty of games for us to win and points to play for so if we can go into the winter break with three wins we’ll be happy.”
While the Dons will enjoy a two-week break following Friday’s game at Tynecastle Taylor expects January to bring further talks on a new deal at Pittodrie.
The defender, who is out of contract in the summer, said: “We’ve spoken but it’s been too busy to start doing anything. We’ll speak again in January and take it from there.”