Dundee United manager Ray McKinnon insists winger Paul McMullan has no right to be throwing punches at anybody and said, if he was a boxer, he’d be a bantamweight.
The diminutive 21-year-old was sent-off by referee Nick Walsh for lashing out at Queen of the South defender Shaun Rooney in the Tangerines’ 2-1 win on Saturday.
With a difference of nearly a foot in height between the pair, Ray believes McMullan would not have attempted to punch his opponent.
“Honestly I’ve not seen it, if it’s a red card it’s a red card, but he must be fighting at bantamweight,” Ray said.
“I mean what’s the lowest weight in it because he’s not throwing punches at anybody is he?
“It’s out of character and he’s said he’s just swung and, to be fair, the referee could’ve dealt with it earlier.
“The guy’s rattling around him and pulling him and he’s trying to get away and he’s still trying to get away and with no foul coming he just pushes him off.
“As soon as he does that he gives the foul and sends him off, so the ref could be a wee bit accountable for that as well.”
Up until his ejection in 35 minutes McMullan was having plenty of joy down the left-hand side and set up Scott McDonald for United’s opening goal.
Ray added: “He was roasting the boy, he was playing well and he’s created the goal.
“He’s probably just a wee bit frustrated as well because he wants to get away from people and excite the fans, and he was doing that.
“If he has thrown a punch, it’s out of character because he’s a lovely kid.”
Ray was pleased with how his side battled to win the game and avoid a cup hangover, despite being a man down for the majority.
“We showed real courage on the back of three big away games,” he said.
“There was a few tired bodies out there in Scotty (Fraser) and Fraser Fyvie but the result was different class. The way we went about it was different class because it’s difficult to play for 60 minutes with 10 men after a leg-sapping game during the week.
“With people like Fyvie, McDonald, Keatings just coming back in, it was a great effort and great three points.
“They’re a good side, so to go and win with 10 men shows real courage from us.”