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Page last updated at 15:13 GMT, Sunday, 17 October 2010 16:13 UK

Dundee United manager slams referee Dougie McDonald

Referee Dougie McDonald

Tannadice penalty drama angers bosses

Dundee United manager Peter Houston was critical of referee Dougie McDonald for his handling of Celtic's 2-1 win at Tannadice.

The referee awarded Celtic a penalty when Dusan Pernis appeared to trip match-winner Gary Hooper, but changed his mind on his assistant's advice.

"Dougie couldn't get his finger to the spot quickly enough. It's not the first he has given against us," said Houston.

"I thought his performance was below average today. I've got to be honest."

English striker Hooper had given Celtic the lead in 13 minutes and as Neil Lennon's side swarmed forward it looked like United could be on the wrong end of a hammering.

But the home side defended bravely and pulled level when David Goodwillie and Prince Buaben dispossessed Joe Ledley just inside the Celtic half and the former struck a deflected shot past Fraser Forster in the visitors' goal.

Hooper then pounced to settle a dramatic match in the final minute of regulation time.

Scotland assistant manager Houston was full of praise for his side but had harsh words for McDonald and was not impressed by the antics on the opposition bench.

"You look at the game and we were holding on quite comfortably and looked dangerous on the counter-attack," he said.

"Yes, Celtic created chances but I thought we coped well with anything they threw at us.

"But then Dougie McDonald conspires to try to give a penalty against us.

It was embarrassing. Celtic thought they had won the league here today

Dundee United manager
Peter Houston on the visitors' celebrations

"Then it transpires that it is not a penalty. What has happened there? Is it the momentum taking Hooper over the goalkeeper?

"Ki Sung-Yong went in two minutes later and went down like a sack of tatties. I've had players booked for that."

Asked what he thought was going through the referee's head when he awarded the penalty then changed his mind, Houston added: "I don't know what goes through Dougie McDonald's mind, permanently.

"I am not saying that's the reason we lost the game, but I am looking for a more consistent performance from a referee who is meant to be one of the top referees.

"Barry Douglas wins a ball against (Georgios) Samaras in the middle of the park. The ball goes out, the referee gives us a foul.

"Samaras gets up and pushes him and Barry Douglas gets booked. Where is the reasoning in that? Why are we getting booked for that.

"We've had a number of bookings and I have got to question that. I thought he didn't have a particularly good game."

The United boss was not impressed either by the celebrations of Celtic manager Neil Lennon.

"It was embarrassing," he said. "Celtic thought they had won the league here today.

"The ref has been over talking to Neil Lennon and his backroom staff and when they score a goal they are 25 yards down the track.

"I'm going to start doing that if you are allowed to do that."

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see also
Dundee United 1-2 Celtic
17 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier

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