Rangers caretaker manager Jimmy Nicholl has blasted the decision by referee Steven McLean to award a penalty to Aberdeen in Tuesday’ 1-1 draw between the sides at Pittodrie – insisting it “wasn’t a penalty.”

McLean pointed to the spot after 12 minutes when Aberdeen midfielder Kenny McLean hit the deck under a challenge from Alfredo Morelos – with replays showing the whistler got the decision wrong.

Nicholl blasted that the Gers “can’t afford” mistakes like that as they challenge the Dons for second in the Scottish Premiership as McLean’s decision cost them the chance to leapfrog Derek McInnes’ side.

“We can’t afford (the referee’s decision). If it hadn’t happened we would’ve continued doing what we had been doing during the first 15 minutes you would like to think, Nicholl said, as quoted by Sky Sports.

“Whatever threat they had we were dealing with as best we could.

“It wasn’t a penalty and it’s disappointing the referee gave it, especially if there’s a doubt. If there’s no doubt I’d be standing there saying: ‘What are you doing, Alfredo? For goodness sake! You’ve cost us the game!'”

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Football Insider verdict

McLean got the penalty decision woefully wrong and Nicholl has every right to be angry. The penalty was just one in a  baffling series of decisions by the ref. Despite that, the Gers should have had enough about them to see off the Dons regardless but never really got going until it was too late to turn the game around. Nicholl’s side were as responsible for failing to take three points against Aberdeen as the penalty decision was. Poor refereeing decisions or not, the Gers will have no excuses at the weekend when they take on Hibs at Easter Road in the final game of the season. The Gers need to take three points against Neil Lennon’s side – and hope bitter rivals Celtic beat Aberdeen – to secure second and if they fail, a poor decision in the first 15 minutes of the game simply wont cut it as an excuse for Rangers fans who are growing tired of continues excuses every time the Light Blues fail to win.

In other Rangers news, the Gers are firmly in the running to sign this Premier League enforcer who has put his £4.5million mansion up for sale ahead of summer move.

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