Dundee Utd 1-1 ICT: Hughes unhappy with referee and players

Inverness manager John Hughes felt referee Calum Murray had a bad night at Tannadice
Inverness manager John Hughes felt referee Calum Murray had a bad night at Tannadice

Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Hughes reckons his players and referee Calum Murray were below-par in the 1-1 draw at Dundee United.

Hughes' side lead early on through Greg Tansey's penalty after United keeper Michal Szromnik was red carded for bringing down Marley Watkins in the box.

But the Tannadice men responded brilliantly and went on to level thanks to Ryan McGowan's late goal, before the visitors had Gary Warren sent off at the death for violent conduct.

Hughes, however, was unimpressed by referee Murray's display.

"I felt a little bit let down by the official tonight, I thought he got conned and he fell for it," Hughes told BBC Scotland.

"The crowd were on him and everything just seemed to go Dundee United's way.

"Dundee United were up for it, they've come off two defeats and they were up for it, they were getting stuck in, they were very aggressive and I don't think we got enough protection from the referee.

"I've been in the game for 35 years and Cammy [Calum Murray] is one of the better ones, and I felt a little bit let down by his second half performance. I think he lost it at times. He was giving free-kicks and bookings left, right and centre, and it wasn't a game like that."

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara had to take Chris Erskine off after the early red card
Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara had to take Chris Erskine off after the early red card

The Inverness boss, however, was also critical of his players.

"We got the penalty and played some nice stuff in the first half and once again forgot to play in the second half," he added. "When I look at my team, we needed to get our foot on the ball and make a couple of passes and take it a run, but we failed to do that."

United manager Jackie McNamara brushed off Hughes' suggestions that his team were "aggressive," although he said he would "have a laugh" with his opposite number later.

And the Tannadice boss added: "I think his players got six bookings and I thought one of them should've been a red before that, at the start of the second half when [Paul] Dixon's gone through and he's been taken out.

"Aggressive is not something we normally mention with our team but I was happy with the spirit and response from an early setback by going down to 10 men. To be honest, I thought we were the better team with 10 men.

"It's a red card. Being so early you'd have preferred he went through and scored and then we'd have had 11 men on. Then I had to make a decision and unfortunately I've had to take one of the forwards off in Chris Erskine. It was really disappointing for him and for us.

"The least we deserved tonight was a point if not the three."

McNamara also believes keeper Szromnik will recover from his sending off.

"He will [take it badly] but he's a young goalkeeper and how do you learn? You learn from things like that. That's why they get a chance here because they have to learn," he added.

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