Allan McGregor’s red card against Hibs on Sunday was nothing short of embarrassing. It’s no wonder Hibs forward Marc McNulty has been left confused by the fact he was booked at the start of the incident.
As the Easter Road side looked to frustrate the hosts in the final minutes of the match, McNulty stood in front of McGregor as he attempted to clear the ball. The forward was booked before the Rangers stopper kicked him in the back just moments later.
It was complete madness from someone who should know better. The shock came through the booking he received though, not the kick from his opponent for Hibs’ Reading loanee.
“There was obviously a coming together between the two of us,” the former Livi striker told the Scotsman.
“I turned away and jogged on and the referee pulled it back. For me, the most surprising thing was that I was penalised in it all and given a booking. I do that every week, just standing in front of the keeper and making a nuisance of myself.
“What have I actually done wrong”
“I said to the ref: ‘What have I actually done wrong?’ The ref told me that I had stuck my leg out, but I didn’t. So it was surprising that he ended up booking me for it.
“There was a wee bit of contact when he (McGregor) kicked out. But I didn’t moan about it or anything. You just get up and get on with it. I didn’t read too much into it. But, obviously, the ref or the linesman have spotted it and decided to send him off.”
It’s no wonder the Hibs frontman was confused. If he hadn’t stuck his leg out, why is referee Bobby Madden trying to tell him otherwise?
Credit has to go to McNulty for not reacting to McGregor’s kick. He would have been well within his rights to have a word with him about it, but he showed true professionalism and got on with the game, a contrast to what his Rangers counterpart showed.
Hibs’ unbeaten streak came to an end on Sunday but that will not dishearten McNulty and the rest of the squad too much. They have been brilliant recently and defeat was going to come calling sooner rather than later.
With Europe out of sight, their main aim has to be finishing above city rivals Hearts. Considering where they were in January, that would be a stellar achievement for new boss Paul Heckingbottom.