McGhee: Carl McHugh red card was a joke

The challenge which got Carl McHugh sent off for Motherwell against Hearts (Pic by Alan Watson)
The challenge which got Carl McHugh sent off for Motherwell against Hearts (Pic by Alan Watson)

After Carl McHugh’s controversial dismissal against Hearts, Motherwell will lodge an appeal against a straight red card for one of their players for a second straight week.

The Irish midfielder got his marching orders despite appearing to win the ball in a challenge against Hearts’ Don Cowie, with the score goalless after 52 minutes of Saturday’s early kick-off.

A stunned Carl McHugh is sent off by referee Andrew Dallas (Pic by Alan Watson)

A stunned Carl McHugh is sent off by referee Andrew Dallas (Pic by Alan Watson)

“It is never a sending off in a million years,” said Motherwell manager Mark McGhee when addressing pressmen immediately after the 3-0 Scottish Premiership defeat at Fir Park.

“It’s a joke. It’s a great tackle, he cleanly won the ball.

“What can I say? It’s just a ridiculous decision.

“It’s cost us the game. Even at 1-0 down with 10 men we’re still the best team until we go 2-0 down.

“We get people running out of legs. Young Zak (Jules) at left back cost us the third goal.

“But the score doesn’t reflect the game for me.

“I think there was a lot right about us today and somehow we’ve conspired to have the game taken from us.”

McHugh’s red card came just seven days after a similar fate befell team-mate Scott McDonald for a challenge against Rangers striker Kenny Miller.

The Steelmen lodged an appeal with the SFA against that decision, but had no luck as beaks rejected this so the original two-game ban on McDonald remained.

McGhee is convinced that his team should win their latest appeal when their dispute against the McHugh decision is decided upon by the Hampden Park blazers.

The Motherwell gaffer added: “One hundred per cent, we will be lodging an appeal. It’s less of a sending off than Scott McDonald’s.

“He (the referee) books Ben Heneghan as well for a fantastic tackle in the middle of the park.

“What’s it all about? It’s hugely frustrating.

“People looking from the outside see the 3-0 and think that Hearts have beaten us well.

“That’s not the case as well so we are very disappointed.

“I didn’t speak to the referee afterwards. What can you say?

“They don’t speak to you. It’s just impossible.”