Hamilton Accies: Martin Canning in apology for red card

Hamilton player-manager Martin Canning
Martin Canning has yet to win a game as Hamilton manager

Hamilton Academical player-boss Martin Canning has apologised for his red card against St Johnstone while insisting he should not have been sent off.

The defender was dismissed an hour into Saturday's 1-1 draw after a late tackle on Michael O'Halloran.

"I apologised for getting myself sent off," said Canning of a squad meeting.

"But I still think, having watched it back, that it was a harsh decision. I went for the ball but was slightly late."

Saints' Brian Graham was quoted as suggesting it could have left his fellow striker with a broken leg, but Canning insists "it was nowhere near as bad" as the Perth side were making out.

"It's not high, it's not malicious, it's just mistimed," said the manager, who was defended by coach Guillaume Beuzelin immediately after the game.

Martin Canning leaves St Johnstone's Michael O'Halloran writhing
Canning (right) insists that St Johnstone exaggerated his tackle on Michael O'Halloran

"I genuinely thought I would get booked. I did not for one second think the ref would send me off, but he did.

"O'Halloran is very quick and I was slightly late. We broke it down on the video and I missed the ball by milliseconds. It's a great tackle if you get the ball."

Accies were leading through Ali Crawford until referee Greg Aitken flashed the red card, but they were unable to hold on for the first victory of Canning's reign as manager after Graham equalised.

"I was proud of the players for the way they responded, though," stressed Canning.

"They could have folded but instead dug in and got their point.

"I told them I felt, if I stayed on the pitch, we would have won the game.

"We were the better team for the 60 minutes I was on the park, but I let them down by getting sent off."