Frustrated Mackay wants talks about VAR use
Ross County manager Malky Mackay hopes there are serious discussions about the use of VAR in Scottish football this summer – but he fears they could come too late for his side.
Mackay was frustrated to see his side get a penalty award rescinded at Fir Park on Saturday after referee Euan Anderson blew quickly following Calum Butcher’s challenge on Connor Randall just as George Harmon was about to shoot.
And his mood was exacerbated when Keith Watson was penalised for handball to allow in-form Motherwell striker Kevin van Veen to net the only goal 10 minutes into stoppage time, which kept County in the cinch Premiership bottom two.
The ball brushed off Watson’s hand as Jonathan Obika was looking to get a shot away but Mackay feels his side have been the victims of a series of harsh calls.
“Common sense seems to have gone from the situation,” he said.
“We got one against us at Dundee United that skims a pinkie – it was ridiculous. When we played Celtic, we got one against us that skimmed a shoulder and nobody claimed for.
“The bar has been changed in Europe because there was an appeal in the Champions League that wasn’t even looked at.
“But here, every time the ref goes to the monitor they don’t stand by their decision. They are changing it and there is nobody saying, ‘I’ve seen it in real time’.
“I would hope there are internal discussions between the refs, the supervisors and the SFA. The referees’ reputations are being spoken about every week.
“And I would hope the clubs are involved as there is a lot of discord and the clear and obvious thing isn’t working properly.
“Could it come too late for us? Yeah, completely, and there’s nothing I can do about that.”
County were edging out of the danger zone until the penalty but they have a chance to take advantage of relegation rivals Dundee United and Kilmarnock playing each other on Wednesday while they host St Johnstone.
County then travel to Rugby Park and Motherwell could have a major say in who goes down when they host United next Sunday.
The Steelmen have already beaten Kilmarnock since the split and manager Stuart Kettlewell is delighted to see his side maintain their standards.
“I would never want anyone to label at me or the club that we have taken our foot off the pedal and start trying to swan about a football pitch and think we are owed something in this game, because that can come back and bite you,” he said.
“We have worked hard all week to make sure that’s where our mindset is and I can assure people that will be the same for the last two games as well.
“It’s going to be a tough fight at the bottom and we have to play our part so the natural order takes its place and if we do that we can finish off a difficult season well.”