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Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes wants to end silent treatment from Scottish referees

Derek McInnes.
Derek McInnes.

When it comes to dialogue between managers and match officials Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes believes it is good to talk.

Covid-19 has ensured opportunities to discuss decisions behind key incidents have become even tougher, but the Dons boss believes it is important officials do explain their rationale.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard was the latest manager to fall foul of the referee on Wednesday when he was sent to the stand by referee John Beaton after expressing his frustration at decisions in his side’s 1-0 win at Livingston and he is not alone.

Former Ross County boss Stuart Kettlewell and Hearts manager Robbie Neilson are among those to be disciplined, and McInnes believes simple dialogue would go a long way to improving relations between the respective parties.

He said: “A lot of times managers will approach referees in the right manner. I do think managers deserve an explanation, although referees may see that differently.

“If managers approach it the right way then referees should give their version of events the right way.

“If managers are over the top and shouting and bawling, then the referee maybe thinks it’s better to not get involved in that type of conversation.

“But I do think there’s a level of decency.

“Some referees are more approachable than others. I think some of them are maybe less forthright and say they’ll have a look at it again.

“Sometimes they are adamant they are 100 percent right, they can ignore you and almost shoo you away. That can be difficult for a manager.”

McInnes has felt that same frustration at various points this season and gave a recent example to show how exasperating it can be for those in the dugout even days after games.

He said: “I still wasn’t given a satisfactory answer when I phoned the referee department the other week.

“Tommie Hoban had a penalty given against him at St Mirren Park and the young boy Stephen Welsh last week against Celtic had his hands in the same position, the distance was almost identical, but Alan Muir did not give us a penalty, but Bobby Madden gave St Mirren a penalty.

Tommie Hoban, left, was penalised against St Mirren.

“I said at the time if Bobby is right then Alan is wrong and vice versa. But both referees still think they are right and I don’t understand it.”

Managers and officials have met off the field previously and McInnes believes the gathering did have a positive impact initially.

He said: “We had it a couple of years ago when we had the meeting at McDiarmid Park. There was a line in the sand about criticising them in public and there was an understanding about each other’s roles.

“I actually thought that went well for a period of time. I’ve been conscious of it myself as well.

“But there are some who are far more approachable and some who might admit they got it wrong, or maybe they’d have a look and give you a call.

“Then you can maybe understand it from their point of view, even if they’ll often find a reason to show they were right.

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