Scottish Football - McInnes defends Pawlett

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes claims it is "bang out of order" to blame Peter Pawlett for Dundee's relegation.

PA Sport
Scottish Football - McInnes defends Pawlett

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Peter Pawlett has accepted a two-match ban

The Dons this week accepted a two-match Scottish Football Association ban for Pawlett, whose simulation over the incident that led to Niall McGinn equalising from the spot consigned Dundee to bottom place in the SPL on Sunday.

But they claimed any appeal would have been fruitless because of the negative publicity surrounding the incident. Dundee manager John Brown mainly hit out at referee Alan Muir after the game, pointing out that jobs would be lost as a result of the decision, but also criticised Pawlett's fall as Lewis Toshney tried to prevent contact.

Some of Pawlett's previous diving misdemeanours - two bookings this season and an earlier two-match ban - were highlighted on television on Sunday night and McInnes feels his player has become a scapegoat.

McInnes said: "We have accepted the punishment. Any incident like that will be dealt with internally. It's dealt with, we move on from it. What has to be clear is that no way is Peter Pawlett going to be made a scapegoat for Dundee's relegation.

"There's been a lot aimed at him and I'll be looking in the future if there's the same outrage and comment on players in instances like that. To label people losing their jobs and the consequences of Dundee being relegated on Peter Pawlett is bang out of order.

"Dundee have had 36 games to sort themselves out. They were 1-0 up against a team with 10 men with half an hour to go and could have dealt with that situation better."

Dundee have only lost one of nine SPL games since Brown took over in February and McInnes believes the focus should be on the stark contrast between their displays under the former Rangers midfielder and predecessor Barry Smith.

"For me the words honesty and integrity have been bandied about," he said.

"If I'm a Dundee fan and I see my team running that extra yard for the manager, when was that evident prior to John Brown coming in? Honesty and integrity."

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