Tackle review baffles McDonald

Hoops star insists challenge on Wilkie was not malicious

McDonald: Pleading innocence

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Scott McDonald is struggling to understand why a challenge he made on Lee Wilkie is under investigation.

The Celtic striker caught the Dundee United defender while stretching to make a tackle during the Hoops' 2-1 win at Parkhead on Tuesday.

The incident has been referred to the Scottish Football Association review panel as referee Stuart Dougal is believed to have been unable to get a proper view of the clash on the night.

However, McDonald believes the officials did not act at the time because they saw nothing in the challenge, and the Australia international is adamant that he did nothing untoward.

He told the Daily Record: "I find it astonishing that the video review panel will be looking at this when the referee was standing only five yards away from it when it happened. I thought these reviews were for incidents that were missed by the referee during the match.

"Stuart Dougal didn't miss this one. He just didn't think there was anything in it - and Lee's reaction suggests he felt the same way. He even asked me for my shirt at the end of the game. Do you think he would have done that if he thought I had tried to seriously injure him?

"We shook hands and swapped shirts and I even had a laugh with him asking him to do us a turn by beating Rangers in the last game of the season!

"It's only because the tackle has been highlighted on TV and in the papers that the SFA have stepped in. It's become a big deal because the ref wouldn't allow Lee to be treated.

"Yes, I must admit, when you look at the pictures in slow motion it doesn't look good. But in actual speed it was nothing much more than a brush and I certainly did not try to injure big Lee.

"Lee knows I wasn't trying to hurt him and the ref knew it too. That's why I don't understand what this is all about."


The incident looks unlikely to be laid to rest any time soon, though, with Dundee United boss Craig Levein still angry at the manner in which the match officials conducted themselves at the time.

Levein claims referee Dougal told him to 'shut up' as he tried to get treatment on for Wilkie, and the former Leicester boss is now demanding an apology.

He told the Scottish Sun: "I would like an apology and I think Lee Wilkie would also like an apology.

"I have no qualms about anybody making a mistake. Everybody makes mistakes in life. If he didn't see the tackle Scott McDonald made on Lee then fair enough.

"But there is no need for him to speak to me the way he did or treat Lee Wilkie the way he did either.

"As far as I am concerned, we both deserve an apology from Stuart Dougal and I will wait patiently by the phone and see if it happens.

"I don't know if I'll get one, but I'd certainly like one. If that happens, would I think better of Stuart Dougal? Of course I would.

"It's like anything. If someone does something but then apologies then, as far as I'm concerned, it's over, it's done. Everybody makes mistakes."