DUNDEE UNITED fullback Kieran Freeman inspired an energetic appeal from the Tannadice players on Monday evening as they felt Celtic midfielder Reo Hatate deserved to see red for his lunge on the player. 

Freeman himself, however, was reluctant to be quite so vehement about the incident for which the Japanese midfielder was booked. 

“I knew it was coming. I got the ball and tried to play it inside,” he said.  “These things happen. I’ll leave that to others to discuss. I was in the hear of the game and didn’t see too much.

“How much did he catch me? I’m not sure. I felt contact and it’s up to the referee to do whatever he thinks. I was down on the ground. I didn’t know what was happening around me and you can’t change that now.

“He gave the yellow and I don’t think it impacted on the game too much in the end. I had plenty of time to see that coming and it is what it is.” 

More disappointing for United manager Tam Courts was the overall performance of his side as they failed to muster any menace at all within the game. 

With an away game to St Mirren this weekend it is vital they try and rediscover their early season groove to ensure they earn themselves a top six place before the split. 

“The season’s not over,” said Freeman. “There is plenty to play for. We are striving to get in the top six and have three games to do that. We can still have a good season. Fourth place is still absolutely achievable for us and that’s what we are looking to do. 

“We need to be going down to Paisley to pick up three points to put ourselves in a good position.” 

And Freeman has insisted that there was no fingers pointed towards goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist after his mistake gave Celtic a second goal on Monday evening to effectively kill the tie.

“Benji has done a lot more good than he has done bad,” he said.  “He has saved so many points for us. He’s disappointed but there’s no reason for him to be. It’s not his fault at all.

“It happens to everyone. You see the top goalies and mistakes like that happen to them. You can trace it back a lot further up the pitch so it’s not just Benji’s fault for that goal.

“He’s a very good keeper and has done superbly well for us. I don’t think it’s in question that he has won more points than lost for us. It would be scary to think of how many points he has won for us. There’s no blame on Benji.

“He’ll already be looking forward to Saturday and putting it right as we all are.”