Managers rarely see controversial incidents involving their own players but in Saturday’s case McInnes has witnessed a great tackle and also saw the Celtic player winking and laughing. A very serious accusation and one that requires an apology or punishment.
Ajer took evasive action as an opponent ran at speed towards him, launching himself at the ball with both feet off the ground. Other players would have milked it but Ajer got up quickly after taking a slight knock to his leg.
Aberdeen’s website however reports a very different version with their manager saying:
I spoke to the referee and I thought he had a good game. He thinks that Sam has caught the player with his leg, but I have seen it again and he has not.
People have put the question to me (broadcast media) that it was the same as Porteous last night. It is nothing like the Porteous tackle. Porteous clearly makes contact with the player last night. I have watched it 20 times now, Cosgrove has won the ball cleanly.
If he goes in at speed and hits the player at any point then you can understand the referee sending him off. When you go in at speed like that you have to make sure you get the ball and 100% it is a brilliant tackle. He maybe does not need to go in as quick as he does, but he has won the ball cleanly.
And then you have big Ajer winking at him and laughing at him lying on the ground – there is nothing wrong with the boy. The boy carries on, I did not see anything wrong with him. If Sam Cosgrove hits Ajer going at that speed, Ajer is hurt. And the boy is clearly not hurt. It is a brilliant tackle.
Neil Lennon after the game – and it is easy for a winning manager to say this – but he said that no way was it a red card. He thinks we have been harshly treated there. I think we have been very harshly treated.
If McInnes is allowed to escape punishment for those comments it creates an open season on Celtic players as we saw at Ibrox a year ago when John Beaton refused to take action for attacks on Ryan Christie, Scott Brown and Tony Ralston.
Aberdeen are expected to appeal against the red card which will bring the Compliance Officer into action this week.