Ross County manager John Hughes won’t coach diving – but he says his players might have to ‘join the party’ after Hibs’ weekend penalty brought about more referee chat.

The Staggies lost 2-1 to Hibs on Saturday. After Billy McKay scored Ross County’s opener, Martin Boyle was accused of conning referee John Beaton to win a penalty. He did get the spot-kick and scored, before another tumble in the box prompted more diving accusations, with demands the Hibs winger could have been off the park given he was already on a yellow card.

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The Hibs winger was accused of diving. (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Kevin Nisbet scored the winner but how County lost to Hibs still hurts Hughes, bringing up the debate of assisting referees in Scotland further again. The County boss laughed: “On saying that, if my guy dives on Saturday and we get a penalty then I’ll take it. As long as he’s got his Speedos on.

“If it’s part and parcel of the game, we have got to join the party. What are we going to do? If that’s the way the game is going, then you need to join the party. Simple. One thing I will never do, I’m an honest guy, and I will never coach it.

“Even if I look back on Saturday, I have not got a finger of blame on Boyle. It’s part and parcel of the game. I don’t have finger of blame against John Beaton. I think he got conned and once he sees that, he will realise that. And he is the one that’s made to look stupid giving the penalty.

Beaton was conned according to John Hughes.

Beaton was conned according to John Hughes. (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

“I was a little bit disappointed he never took action on the other one but we need to help the refs. What concerns me is there is something fundamentally not right in the Scottish game where guys are diving to seek an advantage, conning the referee and there’s no action done about it, because the powers-that-be will be seen as not backing the referee.

“Two wrongs can’t make a right. I can understand they don’t want to throw referees under the bus but they have to do what’s right for the Scottish game. And if the referee has made a mistake they have to hold their hands up. That way we can take action against the guys who are diving.

“Something has to be done for the greater good of Scottish football because these things can’t keep going on. But it’s done and dusted and we have to move on. I hope these decisions, when we are playing for people’s livelihoods, don’t come back to haunt us.”

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