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Careful what you wish for – McLean issues VAR warning to Scottish clubs

Kenny McLean has told Scottish football to be wary of VAR as calls grow for it to be introduced in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

The Norwich midfielder was happy to see the system absent from Saturday’s FA Cup third-round win at Preston after seeing two decisions go against his side in the Premier League in recent weeks, adding to the controversy surrounding the of VAR in English football this season.

Teemu Pukki thought he had put Norwich 2-0 up against Tottenham but was adjudged offside by millimetres, with the game ending 2-2, and in the following match Crystal Palace substitute Connor Wickham’s late equaliser was awarded by VAR after initially being ruled out for offside. The striker was played on by Christoph Zimmermann’s outstretched boot.

Rangers repeated the call for VAR after the 2-1 league win over Celtic at Parkhead at the end of the year, with Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes adding his voice to the plea at the weekend, and the Scottish Football Association is planning to ask member clubs to vote on the potential introduction of the system.

However, former St Mirren and Aberdeen midfielder McLean, who came on late in the 4-2 win over Preston, where VAR was missing as their Deepdale ground is not a Premier League stadium, said they should be careful what they wish for.

He told the PA news agency: “We have been on the wrong end of a couple of poor outcomes from VAR, marginal ones that you could say weren’t too conclusive even with VAR.

“I am sure everyone at Norwich will say they are not for it because how it has gone for us, but I have been like that from the start.

“Referees will make mistakes, same as us players, we make mistakes on a match day.

“It is human error and, unless it is clear and obvious, which VAR has stepped in for a few times, I don’t think it is necessary.

“Careful what you wish for? I would say so.

“Look at the two Old Firm games that I saw recently when decisions have gone against Rangers.

“Of course one of them was a vital decision in the Betfred Cup final (Celtic’s offside goal) and it cost Rangers at the end.

“But when you look at ones we have been involved in, they say clear and obvious and it was nothing like that.

“The decisions we have been getting against us have been so marginal.

“I don’t think it is needed really, but I don’t think we will see the back of it.

“It seems that most people wanted it and now it’s here people want rid of it.

“I think it something that we need to deal with ,so hopefully it can start turning in our favour and we will get our fair share of decisions.”

Norwich eased into the FA Cup fourth round but sit bottom of the league table, five points behind Watford, ahead of the trip to Manchester United on Saturday.

However, McLean is adamant the Carrow Road club can get themselves out of trouble.

The Scotland international said: “We are obviously in a difficult situation.

“I honestly think we have got the qualities to get ourselves out of it.

“Confidence and belief is still high because we are always in games.

“There have been two games this season – Liverpool on the first day of the season when we did okay but we lost 4-1 and the Aston Villa game at home (which Villa won 5-1) – when we weren’t good enough, (but) that’s the only two games that we have been out of sight. We have been in every other game.

“We have been playing pretty good stuff. In the four games over Christmas we could have picked up 12 points.

“It’s easy enough saying that. It is up to us to turn those narrow defeats and draws into draws and wins.

“Hopefully we can string a few wins together because in this league that is massive and we definitely have the squad to do it.”