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I don’t understand it – Callum Davidson fumes at Nicky Clark red card

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson was frustrated with the Ibrox defeat (Steve Welsh/PA)
St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson was frustrated with the Ibrox defeat (Steve Welsh/PA)

Callum Davidson was left perplexed and frustrated after three key decisions went against his St Johnstone side in their 2-0 defeat by Rangers at Ibrox.

Gers skipper James Tavernier scored from the spot in the 15th minute after referee Willie Collum penalised Saints defender James Brown after the ball struck his arm in the box.

Perth striker Nicky Clark was shown a straight red card in the 33rd minute for a foul on Gers midfielder Ryan Jack, with the VAR check confirming serious foul play.

And, to some surprise, Collum then stuck with his decision to give Jack a yellow card for a late tackle on Adam Montgomery after checking the pitchside monitor, with Davidson finishing the cinch Premiership game, which ended in a seventh straight defeat for his side, with a yellow card for throwing a water bottle.

He said: “I thought the Nicky Clark one was a bit harsh.

“He was getting fouled originally, he has lost his balance a little bit as he has gone to ground. Ryan Jack has come in to him at force, not the other way round. So I just can’t get it, I don’t understand it.

“A really big decision, I don’t think it was a red card and then the tackle on Adam was really late, at speed with force.

“I seen replays of it, he has gone straight leg with studs at Adam’s ankle and it is a yellow card. There you go, that sums up the game.

“Normally when they go over to it (the monitor) it is a red card. The less I say about that the better.”

As for the penalty decision, the former St Johnstone defender said:  “James’ hand is up, and it is deflected on to it from a yard away – I’m not sure what you are meant to do.

“There is no intent to handle it, no intent to stop the ball going towards goal. We have to be a little bit sensible as big decisions in games are affecting the outcome. We have to have a look at the handball rule at the end of the season.”

It was a good day for Rangers, with Todd Cantwell making his debut following his move from Norwich, and Ianis Hagi coming on as a substitute after more than a year out with a knee injury.

Michael Beale, who has won nine and drawn one of his 10 games as Gers boss, gave his take on the controversial tackles.

He said: “There’s no malice in Nicky’s tackle. At the last minute he actually tried to pull back.

“But he does catch him quite high on his shin – Ryan has the gash to show it. He’ll possibly be a doubt for Wednesday (against Hearts). The VAR official has spoken to Willie and they have decided to send him off.

“Ryan’s tackle on Montgomery is completely different. It’s low and he’s caught him on the ankle.

“It’s a yellow card anywhere on the park. We shouldn’t put the two of them together and make a lot of drama about it. There’s no way that Ryan Jack’s tackle is a red card, no way.”

Rangers, who sealed the win with Glen Kamara’s second-half strike, have been linked with Standard Liege’s 21-year-old midfielder Nicolas Raskin and Swansea’s Morgan Whittaker.

Beale, who was pleased with Cantwell’s 60-minute debut, updated his recruitment plans, saying: “I’d like to add another midfielder to the squad who is powerful and can run. I’d like to add another centre-half to the squad and I’ll probably need to look at the goalie situation in the summer.

“We’ll be looking for another number nine. Are we going to get all of that done in the next 48 hours? There’s more time in the summer.

“I think there will be a couple of things in the next 48 hours one way or another.

“Can I guarantee we’ll have new arrivals? No. Will we try our best? Definitely.”