St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson furious about red card and refereeing inconsistency against Hibs

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson was furious about what he saw as refereeing inconsistency after his team had Murray Davidson sent off in their 1-0 defeat by Hibs at McDiarmid Park.

Saturday, 30th July 2022, 6:17 pm
Updated Sunday, 31st July 2022, 1:42 am

Referee Euan Anderson showed the Saints midfielder a straight red for a late challenge on Ryan Porteous midway through the second half before issuing Hibs left-back Marijan Cabraja with a yellow card for what Davidson deemed to be a similar tackle on Ryan McGowan.

Saints have now had three players sent off this season already after two red cards in the Premier Sports Cup, but Davidson is considering an appeal.

"I think so,” he confirmed. “It depends if I can appeal it on grounds of another tackle in the same game. I'll have a look at it. Murray is an important player for us.”

Murray Davidson's dismissal was a huge talking point in the match.

The decision to show red for one challenge and yellow for the other was the major talking point after a feisty cinch Premiership opener in Perth which Hibs deserved to win thanks to an injury-time goal from Josh Campbell.

Davidson said: “I’m just looking for consistency in decisions. That's the biggest thing for me. There are two massive talking points in the game. You come to the Murray Davidson sending off ... whether it was or not is debatable. You come to that second tackle ... to me it's the exact same tackle, there is no difference at all, and he gives him a yellow.

“We concede the goal in the 90th minute due to those decisions. It's really hard to take. I think every time we played Hibs last season we got decisions as well – Jamie McCart sending off, we got someone sent off here as well. It's very hard to take.

Asked if he had looked back at replays of both incidents, Davidson confirmed: “Yeah, I've seen them. They are either both a yellow or both a red. It's just consistency I'm looking for. I said to Murray, ‘you can’t give him opportunities to make a decision’. That’s one thing from my players. I’ annoyed we’ve had three sending offs so far this season. But you’ve got to have consistency.

“He said Murray's one was high, I still don't see it. They're both late. I’m not saying they are bad tackles, they are both going for the ball, but if you send one off then you have to send the other one off.”

Anderson’s decision to send Davidson off came after a slight delay, with fourth official and the assistant referee appearing to be consulted.

Davidson added: “The officials talked about it. I said, ‘why did you not talk about his tackle?’ It's dead simple. Just talk about it. I'm gutted for the players. We didn't play on the ball as well as we could but as a unit we were very good and defended well. It's a tough game against Hibs, they've spent a lot of money.”

Asked if the introduction of VAR later this season will help improve consistency, Davidson replied: “I have no idea. People still have to make a decision with VAR but the thing is, both people can look at it. All I would say about VAR is don't be too quick to send players off. The Scottish game is a little bit hectic at times and some rash decisions but it's important we make consistent decisions.”