Equal Treatment For All
Iain Brines will not be on Peter Houston's Christmas card list this year. Dundee United's Peter Houston may be fanning the faint embers of referee unrest as he seeks "clarification" from the officials in charge of the game against Celtic. The United manager was unhappy with the inconsistency of the performance of referee Iain Brines in the 4-1 defeat at Parkhead. Houston plans to speak to the SFA's head of referee development, John Fleming, after claiming that Brines told him that "on another day" he would have booked Celtic midfielder Beram Kayal for a foul on Craig Conway. Brines had a word with Kayal in the first half after awarding a free-kick for his tackle on the Tannadice midfielder as he raced down the left. Houston was left raging when a similar challenge by Jon Daly on Charlie Mulgrew in the closing stages of the game led to a yellow card for the United substitute. The United manager said: "The one thing I want to mention is that I'm disappointed with the referee. I don't want players sent off or yellow-carded, it's not my style but to me, Kayal taking Conway out was a stonewall yellow card. Seconds left in the game and Jon Daly, in my opinion, does the exact same thing to Charlie Mulgrew, catches him a second too late. I hold my hands up, we were beaten fair and square but what annoys me is that I asked the referee for an explanation in the tunnel and his explanation was that on another day the Conway one would have been a booking. What's that about? What does that mean? It baffles me. I need to speak to John Fleming because it's bugging me. I want clarification on what days you get a yellow card for that and which days you don't. Simple as that. He said it in front of his assistants and a couple of police were there as well and I said he would need to explain it to me. He started walking away saying 'that's enough' as I was ranting. What are we going to decide, 'it's a sunny day today so I'm not going to yellow card him'?" Houston went on: "The same referee booked Paul Dixon against Motherwell at Tannadice for diving in the box when everyone else in the stadium thought it was a penalty kick and television evidence proved it was a stonewaller. I can understand that because sometimes referees get it wrong. But for him to say that Kayal isn't a yellow card and Daly's is for doing the same thing, that beats me. He said Daly went down the back of Mulgrew's Achilles or something like that but he got there a second too late the same as Kayal. John Fleming will ask Iain Brines and hopefully I will get something back." Celtic manager Neil Lennon had a different view on Kayal, who scored his goal just after half-time with a shot from outside the box. Lennon said: "I thought he was world class. I thought he and Scott Brown were magnificent from start to finish and had to cope with three in there. We wanted to play with a bit of width today with James Forrest and Kris Commons and those two had to really work hard and the strength and power they bring to the team is fantastic. It is as good a midfield as we have had in a long time allied to Joe Ledley who is out, Ki who we can bring in off the bench, we can drop Maloney in there, Juarez, so we are pretty strong in that area. We were brilliant from start to finish although we are disappointed with the goal that we conceded. It was a disappointing result from our point of view yesterday (at Fir Park) but we responded very well. We have a game in hand plus a goal difference of six goals but that won't matter if we win every game."
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