Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes backs ref penalty decision

Derek McInnes

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes insists contact was made between Dundee's Lewis Toshney and Peter Pawlett for the crucial penalty in Sunday's 1-1 draw.

Niall McGinn netted from the spot with the Dons one goal down to consign the Dens Park side to the First Division next season.

"I'm not sure who it was who came in and hit Peter," said McInnes.

"He tried to slow down, but for me, there was contact - but I need to stress that I haven't seen it again."

Dundee had taken a 20th-minute lead through Jim McAlister's fist-half volley into the top corner of the net, then John Brown's men were handed a boost when Dons striker Rory Fallon saw red after a clash with Declan Gallagher.

However, the pivotal moment in the match was the penalty decision that handed Aberdeen a leveller, and subsequently a point from the game, that sent Dundee down.

With 15 minutes of the match at Dens Park remaining and the home side holding on to a one-goal lead, Pawlett drove into the box and went down under a challenge from Toshney which Dundee manager John Brown has disputed.

McInnes said from his position, it looked like referee Alan Muir had made the correct decision.

"From 80 yards away and the pace it was going, I did think there was contact made," said McInnes. "The ref and linesman were ten yards away and gave it instantly."

The draw means McInnes has now gone three matches in charge of the Dons without defeat, all three ending in draws since he took over from Craig Brown when the Scottish Premier League split in two, and the former St Johnstone boss says his players are showing signs of promise.

"We were disappointed with the goal we lost in the first half," said McInnes. "It was a bit untidy from us, and it was a scabby deflection that took it over Jamie Langfield.

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Interview - Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes

"I thought Dundee had a bit more drive and vigour about them in the first half, but I never felt we played the way I expected us to.

"In the second half, we looked like the team that was going to win it, even with ten men, we more than deserved our point. But over the piece I think the point was maybe fair.

"As pleased as we are with the commitment to drive out a point and never give up, I think that we put the game at risk with our first half performance.

"For me, it wasn't good enough. It's not as if I'm asking them for things they're not capable of, but I think in the second half we played at a tempo that I think we can play at.

"When we play at that tempo and pace, i think we look a decent side."