KILMARNOCK manager Derek McInnes believes that Video Assistant Referees should be mandatory for the latter stages of the Scottish Cup, as his side prepare to travel to Inverness tomorrow evening for their quarter-final tie.

The match will take place without VAR as Championship side Inverness do not have the technology installed at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. Even if they had, Premiership clubs such as Livingston – who played Inverness in the last round at the Tony Macaroni Stadium – have opted against using it due to a prohibitive cost of around £10,000 for a one-off game.

While McInnes doesn’t blame Inverness, and wouldn’t be drawn on whether it should fall on the SFA to foot the bill, he does believe the game is too important not to have VAR in place to help the officials.

READ MORE: Ash Taylor makes Kilmarnock relegation call despite defeat to Rangers

“With VAR not being there in the last eight of the cup, when does it become mandatory to have it?” McInnes said.

“I don’t know, the last eight seems important enough to me.

“I’m not criticising Inverness for that, because it’s a big outlay of money.”

Despite his reservations around VAR not being in use, McInnes hopes its absence will focus the mind of referee David Dickinson, with the Killie boss of the opinion that too many referees are using the technology as a ‘comfort blanket’.

Last weekend, Dickinson himself turned away a penalty appeal in St Mirren’s game against Celtic for a Greg Taylor handball despite having a clear view of the incident, only correcting his decision when invited to look at the pitchside monitor.

“I think there were a few good examples of that in our game at the weekend [against Rangers] too,” he said.

“The referees need to call it as they see it, and that’s the way we have been used to it being.

“I think referees who are operating at a level in the Premiership, it is an adjustment again to go back to not having that comfort blanket and getting the opportunity to have a second look.

“I think it just focuses the referee’s attention even more. I’m not saying it’s not there, but I do think it’s back to the way it was, a bit old school and just dealing with the game. I’m sure they will be well prepared for that.

READ MORE: Scottish Cup draw in full as quarter-final ties revealed

“I was a big advocate of VAR, I think all the managers were. We canvassed it on behalf of our league and our referees, and I think all coaches and managers were fully behind it.

“I do think it helps you arrive at the better decision more often than not. Now, it’s clear that that has not always been the case this season, so it comes down to how we operate it best.

“We are just looking for that consistency in how it operates, when they get involved, when they don’t get involved, and arriving at the right decisions more often than not.

“The offside stuff is clear, and that’s been a real help, I think. Sometimes you can forget about that, but I think it’s been fantastic for dealing with that.

“I still think it comes down to the referee’s decision, he’s still in charge of the game and makes the final decision.”

McInnes is hoping that progression to a second semi-final of the season – a first for Kilmarnock – will give them a much-needed boost in the league too.

“The league is something we need to address, we know it is there and we know it is something we have to deal with,” he said.

“I think we will. Did I think we were going to be where we are? I was hoping we were going to be slightly better in the league, but did I think we had it in us to be outwith the bottom four or five? Probably not.

“I always felt we were going to be in a fight at some point, and we’re still in that fight.”