Dundee United defender Kieron Freeman swerved questions on whether Reo Hatate should have seen red for a challenge on him just as he avoided the brunt of the tackle.
Hatate lunged into a tackle with his studs showing with Celtic one up at Tannadice on Monday but referee John Beaton only showed a yellow card.
Celtic went on to win 3-0 and set up a Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers.
When asked about the challenge, Freeman said: “I knew it was coming. I got the ball and tried to play it inside.
“These things happen. I’ll leave that to others to discuss. I was in the heat of the game and didn’t see too much.
“How much did he catch me? I’m not sure. I felt contact and it’s up to the referee to do whatever he thinks.
“I was down on the ground. I didn’t know what was happening around me and you can’t change that now. He gave the yellow and I don’t think it impacted on the game too much in the end.
“I had plenty of time to see that coming and it is what it is.”
United still have plenty to play for with three top-six places in the cinch Premiership up for grabs.
Tam Courts’ side and next opponents St Mirren are among four teams on 36 points with Livingston and Hibernian a point ahead.
Freeman said: “We need to be going down to Paisley to pick up three points to put ourselves in a good position.
“First and foremost, getting in the top six would be a successful season. Anything else would be a huge bonus.
“We are still in the race for a top-four finish with three games before the split. We would have taken that at the start of the season.”
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