Malky Mackay admitted that the second half sending off of Craig Noone changed the complexity of an end to end encounter against Derby on Tuesday night, but didn’t criticise the referee for the call that saw his team under intense pressure due to being a man down.
“It was going well for sixty minutes, but the sending off changed that, from which point we had to be resilient,” he said. “We had to see the game out, which I’m glad we did. We had an eighteen, nineteen and twenty year old out there on the pitch tonight and right now we’re patching things up. But for the first hour as said I thought we did very well until the point when we went down to ten men.
“I’ve no real complaints about the sending off. Both challenges and bookings were what can be classified as forwards challenges, certainly not malicious in any way and neither injured the player. That said, he probably gave the referee no real option.
"After the sending off it was backs to the wall, which it had to be. Derby have won their last three here, have only been beaten once here this season and I think have scored nine goals in their last three games, so we knew coming here tonight was going to be a tough test. And I thought we stood up to that and looked good value to go on and win the game.
“Before the sending off we had two or three good chances, while two out of my back four tonight were eighteen and nineteen. They did very well, while by the weekend we’ll have four more players back in contention from injury which makes a difference. But overall from the last two games we’ve taken four points, which certainly helps.
“We’ve kept the run going nicely, being unbeaten in four games, taking ten points from twelve. I’m delighted with our points tally, delighted we’re still top and happy to be leading goal scorers in the division.”