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Motherwell captain: Kipre 'hard done by' with red card

Carl McHugh describes Celtic penalty award in the League Cup final as 'very soft'.

Carl McHugh (centre) was not happy with the referee's decision to send Cedric Kipre off.
Carl McHugh (centre) was not happy with the referee's decision to send Cedric Kipre off. SNS

Carl McHugh believes Cedric Kipre was "hard done by" with the red card he received in the League Cup final against Celtic.

Motherwell were reduced to ten men just before the hour mark when referee Craig Thomson deemed Kipre had pulled on Scott Sinclair's arm inside the box.

The resulting penalty made it 2-0 and ultimately wrapped up the game for Brendan Rodgers to win his fourth consecutive trophy since arriving at Celtic.

Motherwell captain McHugh was left heartbroken by the controversial decision, saying it brought an end to a competitive final.

"I thought it was very soft," he said. "I didn't think Cedric touched him and that was the consensus between the boys who were around it.

"It kills the game, it's hard enough playing against a team like that with 11 men never mind when you go down to ten. You're just trying to hang on really and it's such a disappointing end for us.

"It's obvious for everyone to see, it kills the game. We put so much into this run to get to the final and even at 1-0 down there was still that belief. I tried [to speak to the referee], but it's difficult."

'We have a strong dressing room and we'll pick each other up and go again. Football doesn't feel sorry for anyone.'
Carl McHugh, Motherwell captain

McHugh will lead his side into another game against Celtic just three days after their cup final agony when they meet them in the Scottish Premiership on Wednesday evening.

He says his teammates are hurting now but they will help each other recover mentally for the next challenge.

McHugh added Kipre especially would be given support by his team mates to put the game-changing decision behind him.

"He's been unbelievable this season, he's been one of our best players and I think he's played every game for us," McHugh said.

"You've seen the decision, it's not a red card, it's not a penalty. We'll pick Cedric up and look after him, he won't be left on his own.

"He'll be grand, he'll pick himself up but he's been very hard done by from my point of view."

McHugh added: "Those boys will run through walls for each other, I'm so disappointed for them.

"It's so important to us, that's one of the biggest games of our careers. To have decisions like that is heartbreaking.

"But we have to dust ourselves down. We have a strong dressing room and we'll pick each other up and go again. Football doesn't feel sorry for anyone."

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