Dundee United boss McNamara bemoans red card incident

Manager Jackie McNamara thought Dundee United were harshly treated as they lost out to an Inverness CT extra-time goal in the League Cup quarter-finals.

United led in the Highlands before succumbing 2-1 after Nadir Ciftci was sent off during an ugly melee.

"I don't think we got the right decisions and we are out of the cup because of that," said McNamara.

"I'll need to watch what I say in case I get myself into trouble and land myself with a touchline ban."

Ciftci was shown a straight red card on 43 minutes for his part in a 20-man brawl that erupted after Gary Mackay-Steven had gone to ground following a clash with Inverness skipper Richie Foran.

McNamara refused to comment directly on the forward's dismissal but thought the whole episode could have been avoided.

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I emphasised to the players before the game the importance of discipline

Jackie McNamara

"I'll reserve my judgement until I see it properly," he told BBC Radio Scotland.

"That was the main decision. It stemmed from Gary Mackay-Steven taking one in the side of the face.

"I thought it was a foul and I thought the assistant referee had seen it as well.

"But he decided to do nothing about it and suddenly everything else breaks loose at that moment.

"The interpretation given to me (for Ciftci's red card) was violent conduct."

United also had eight players booked in a tempestuous match, with first-team coach Darren Jackson sent to the stand, along with home manager Terry Butcher.

"I emphasised to the players before the game the importance of discipline," explained McNamara ruefully.

"It's important to do things properly when you come to a place like this and we lost it a bit at times."

Keith Watson shot United in front with a great strike on five minutes but Gary Warren headed the Highlanders level early in the second half and Ross Draper completed the comeback as the game seemed destined for a penalty shoot-out.

"I'm gutted for the players," added McNamara. "They put in so much effort. To go that long with 10 men and to lose a goal at the end was disappointing.

"I'm proud of the way they kept going, the energy levels and desire to keep helping each other, even when things were going against them.

"The giants were coming forward and they were smashing diagonals up there. I thought we held everything together well."