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Page last updated at 15:06 GMT, Monday, 21 September 2009 16:06 UK

Players can cut cautions - Dallas

Steve Conroy books Rangers captain David Weir
The card count for this season is higher than at the same time last year

Scotland's head of referee development says players must do more to avoid picking up so many cautions.

Eleven yellow cards were shown in Saturday's draw between Kilmarnock and Rangers, while the total has risen compared to the same period last year.

"I think the players could do a lot more to help themselves," Hugh Dallas told BBC Scotland.

"There have been no orders for referees to issue more cards, and we're happy with the level of decision-making."

In the 30 Scottish Premier League fixtures so far this season officials have given 131 yellow cards, compared to 110 at the same stage of last season.

The tally is high when compared to numbers for the English Premier League - 183 yellows from 112 matches.

Sometimes when the game doesn't live up to expectation the attention turns elsewhere

Hugh Dallas

On Saturday, referee Steve Conroy's performance at Rugby Park was brought into question after he administered 11 yellow cards, dismissing a player from each team in the process.

However, Dallas was satisfied with the whistler, who he does not think was 'card-happy'.

"It's always frustrating when attentions turn to the match officials. It's something we don't welcome, and we'd prefer people talked about the game," said the former Fifa referee.

"But sometimes when the game doesn't live up to expectation the attention turns elsewhere.

"Unfortunately, Steve has come in for some unfair criticism in my opinion - and I watched the game live.

"There are sometimes one or two issues we'll talk to a referee about to try and improve him.

"But overall, at this early stage in the season, we're happy with the standard considering all we did at this time last year was talk about the referees."

Some managers from Scotland's top flight agreed with Dallas that players need to take more responsibility.

"The onus is on players to control themselves," said Motherwell boss Jim Gannon. "From a young age you are told don't dive in, don't sell yourself, don't over commit - yet I still see a lot of players doing that."

Meanwhile, Hibernian manager John Hughes said: "We're all in it together. It's up to us to try and help referees.

"But they have to realise sometimes we can get emotional and carried away, and sometimes we just need to count to 10. That goes for us as well."

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see also
Weir calls for Rangers discipline
20 Sep 09 |  Rangers

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