Kilmarnock attacker Kallum Higginbotham has branded Rangers’ James Tavernier as “attention-seeking” after the defender posted pictures of his injured knee on Twitter.
Higginbotham was sent-off for a high challenge on the right-back in the final stages of Saturday’s Scottish Cup tie at Ibrox, but feels that the decision was unfair, and he has criticised Tavernier for scuppering his chances of an appeal by posting images of cuts to his knee on social media.
He said: “I don’t have Twitter myself but a few of the lads showed me that when I came in on Monday. It’s disappointing because in my eyes it’s attention-seeking and he’s trying to prove that I’ve touched him.
“Maybe if he hadn’t posted that picture we could have tried to have appealed it, but the picture shows that there was contact so it would affect the perception of the challenge.
“I never tried to hurt the guy, I wouldn’t do that, it’s just the way I play the game. I want to win every ball that I go for, and if you can’t go in with a little bit of force then it’s not football anymore.
“It seems to always be stop-start in games now for the littlest thing, I think referees need to understand that it’s men playing football, and there’s obviously going to be contact.
“I think it was a harsh sending off, it split views right through Scotland with some people saying it was a straight red and others saying there’s no way it was red.
“I’m obviously going to say that it’s not a red, but I know that I didn’t have any intent to hurt him. “The ball was there to be won and I’ve won the ball, but the referee has obviously factored in the speed of the challenge and the fact my studs were showing, so he’s just doing his job, but I’m just disappointed he’s come to that decision.
“Maybe if it was away from Ibrox it might have been different or if it was early on in the game. But it’s happened now and I can’t let it get me down, I just need to move on.”
Former Scotland international Graham Alexander has meanwhile emerged as a potential contender for the vacant Kilmarnock manager’s position, and will be interviewed for the role within the next few days. He joins Lee Clark and former Swindon boss Mark Cooper in the running for the post.
For Higginbotham, either Clark or current interim-boss Lee McCulloch would represent a positive appointment at Rugby Park.
“Lee Clark is the one that bought me for Huddersfield,” he said.
“He obviously saw something in me when I was at Falkirk, but he got sacked about a week later when we were sat third in the league.
“That put me in limbo down there. The new manager came in and didn’t really know who I was, so that’s why my time there was a bit stop-start.
“If he comes in, hopefully he’ll remember what sort of player I am. We’ve not heard anything around the club though in terms of who’s coming in. It’s Jig at the moment and who knows? If he keeps picking up results then he might just get the job.
“We picked up a positive result at Ibrox on Saturday and I think that’s the first time this season that they’ve failed to score in a game, so that gives us confidence not conceding when you consider some of the results we’ve had previously this season.
“Training has been a lot more upbeat. You never want to see a manager lose his job, and it’s not the case that we were all happy to see Gary out the door because we were all a bit gutted, but sometimes it just takes that change of manager to lift the whole place and that’s what it seems to have done at the minute.
“The sessions have been different and we haven’t had any days off, although I’m not saying that’s the reason we’ve been so bad this season. But we’ve been working hard and I think that showed on Saturday. Hopefully it will show again this week against Motherwell.”