Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes: I was taken aback by Steve Clarke’s outburst

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes has admitted he was taken aback by Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke’s outburst after their cup clash last week.

Clarke called for the Scottish Football Association to act as McInnes appeared to question a penalty decision after Jordan Jones was brought down by Shay Logan.

The Killie boss believed McInnes was branding his winger a diver, and said afterwards: “I thought he was out of order….surely the authorities should ask him to explain himself.”

McInnes, whose Aberdeen side are looking to cement their place in the Ladbrokes Premiership top three as they head to Partick Thistle on Saturday, denied that he called Jones a diver, but admits he was surprised by the way Clarke handled the affair.

“It was a bit bizarre to be honest, because it’s Steve who has brought it into the public domain,” he said.

“My comments – having looked back at them – were about trying to defend Shay because I know Steve was keen to get Shay sent off, and was then keen to get me into trouble with the SFA, but he actually got the penalty.

“It’s not me that’s brought it into the public domain, it’s not me that should be commenting.

“If I wanted to, I would have mentioned that he (Jones) got booked for diving a few weeks ago in the league and I would have mentioned that he’s been booked for diving already this season and I would have mentioned that he got booked for diving last season, but I didn’t.

“It’s Steve that has brought it into the public domain. I have no problem with Jordan Jones, it was a penalty kick. I think the referee made the right decision but it wasn’t a foul by Shay Logan either.

“It’s much ado about nothing, I like Jordan Jones as a player. I tried to sign him in the summer so there are no problems with him either. I am having to react to a comment by Steve.”

The two will meet again in the Scottish Cup quarter-final replay next week, but that will still come too soon for goalkeeper Joe Lewis, who is on course to return quicker than expected.

Lewis was expected to be sidelined for three months after suffering a knee injury at the end of January but McInnes revealed that he could be back within weeks after making good progress.

He said: “He’s doing well, far better than we anticipated at this stage.

“We were hopeful we’d get him in the middle of April, but if all goes well – as it is at the minute – he should be with us after the international break.

“He will miss Saturday and next week, but he may well be available for the game after the international break.”

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