ANTHONY STOKES has admitted he was surprised that not more Dundee United players were cited by the SFA following the flare-up during the 1-1 Scottish Cup quarter-final stalemate at Tannadice on Sunday.
When asked if he was surprised Connolly did not receive a simulation charge, Stokes replied: “I was a bit because I know for a fact I have not touched him. I was going to make a tackle and, from one of the camera angles you can see, I have gone to put my foot in but I have pulled it away. He was already on the way down.
“It’s a strange one for me because there was no contact. I remember a similar incident with myself against Kilmarnock, but the boy has caught me. I might have gone down easily, but I think if you make contact in the box then you run the risk. I didn’t make contact. He has tried to read the tackle and gone down too early.”
Celtic defender Van Dijk will miss Sunday’s Scottish League Cup final against United unless he wins an appeal against his red card on Thursday, but Paton could escape any punishment.
“I think they should clarify what the situation was. They have obviously seen something from one of the Dundee United players that deserves a red card, so surely that should be punished?
“I saw the incident where he (Ciftci) has kicked Scott Brown in the head and for me he would be better off just taking his punishment because it seems quite clear.
“But as for the rest of it, I don’t really know. At the time I genuinely thought two yellow cards and have a word and just let the game go on, because it was pretty petty. The kick-out was the one incident that stood out and something should have been done about that, but that’s in hindsight after seeing it after the game.”
Stokes dismissed suggestions that any bad feeling could spill over into Sunday’s League Cup Final at Hampden between the sides.