DEREK McINNES is obviously game for a laugh after his bleatings over a penalty call that didn’t go Kilmarnock’s way in their 2-0 loss to Celtic in the Viaplay League Cup semi-final in January.

The Ayrshire club’s boss is preparing for Sunday’s tie against the holders at Rugby Park by pathetically harping on about an incident at Hampden SEVEN months ago.

McInnes admitted referee Willie Collum’s decision backed up by VAR official Greg Aitken to ignore frantic spot-kick claims from his desperate players in the fading moments with the Hoops leading 1-0 still rankles.

NO GOAL…Reo Hatate fires in a shot against Kilmarnock that looked good – until VAR erroneously chalked it off.

A stoppage-time strike from Giorgos Giakoumakis, his final goal for the club, put the tie to bed as he added to Daizen Maeda’s first-half opener.

McInnes, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “Last season, we felt really aggrieved not being able to take it to extra-time. Nothing will change my mind that we should have had a penalty in the last minute of the game.

“I believe the referee was told it was probably worth maybe having a look at, but he saw it for what it was – a defender trying to buy a penalty. Maybe he should have been told to go and see the incident.

“He should have been made to go and see the incident again, that’s what I feel, and if he still arrives at the same conclusion then it is down to the referee’s perception of it. But I felt it was a penalty.”

FLAGGING…Callum McGregor has a word with the referee’s assistant.

Wee Derek is proving once again that it is a prerequisite of your average football manager to possess a convenient memory bank.

The Killie gaffer may want to explore other incidents from the same confrontation that may have rendered any shout for a penalty-kick absolutely redundant.

CQN, courtesy of our match reporter on the day, would like to refresh McInnes’ memory.

Has he forgotten the Reo Hatate ‘goal’ which was ruled out just five minutes into the second-half?

The Japanese midfielder struck a shot beyond keeper Sam Walker for a perfectly legitimate strike after being played on with the last touch coming from Killie defender Ash Taylor.

NO GOAL…Daizen Maeda flashes the ball high past Killie keeper Sam Walker – but once again it was disallowed.

Admittedly, Hatate had been in an offside position in the build-up, but was clearly played on by the deflection off an opponent.

Similarly, Kyogo Furuhashi was in an offside position against Aberdeen on Sunday when he was played on by a misdirected header from Nicky Devlin and the striker took a touch before lashing in the second goal in the 3-1 win.

On the hour in the last-four clash, the Hoops claimed what looked a quite magnificent second goal – but once again VAR stepped in to rule it out and throw the opponents a lifeline.

Hatate and Callum McGregor had been involved in the build-up before Kyogo slid the ball into front of Maeda who swept an unstoppable effort into the roof of the net.

The celebrations were cut short when new technology showed a portion of Kyogo’s heel was in an offside position and the strike, quite correctly, it must be admitted, was ruled out.

JOB DONE…Joe Hart and skipper Callum McGregor acknowledge the fans after Celtic’s 2-0 semi-final win over Killie.

However, there were no tantrums afterwards from Celtic or their players after decisions that went against them all those months ago.

Maybe McInnes is hoping someone – possibly Sunday’s match official Alan Muir – will read his words and reckon they may be due a decision against the holders at the weekend.

Who knows? One thing is certain – his musings will not deflect Brendan Rodgers and his players from getting the job done before going into the quarter-final draw immediately after the match.

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