St Mirren manager Jack Ross has no problem with referee Steven McLean taking charge of today’s Renfrewshire derby, despite a week to forget for the whistler.

McLean hit the headlines this week after his performance in the Betfred Cup semi-final between Rangers and Motherwell.

He then came under fire from Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald after waving away a penalty claim for his side in their goalless draw at Hamilton, despite Dougie Imrie blocking a Ryan Edwards strike with his arm.

But while Ross agrees that accountability for referees in Scotland is an issue, he isn’t concerned by McLean handling such a high-profile fixture, and such an important game for his side.

“It’s a really difficult one,” said Ross. “I do agree that the accountability side when referees make mistakes could be looked at.

“When players make mistakes or when managers make mistakes there is accountability, because you are either dropped or you are sacked.

“They have brought this in with referees where they are either officially or unofficially dropped down a division. I’m not sure if I agree with that after one poor game. I think that’s a bit knee-jerk.

“What I would say is that if you ask me whether I’m happy with Steven McLean refereeing one of our games in the Championship, then absolutely. I think he’s one of our best referees.

“Will he make mistakes? Yes. Could he make mistakes on Saturday? Possibly.

“That goes with the territory though and I’ve absolutely no issue with him taking charge of the game.

“From my point of view, Steven McLean has proven consistently over the last few seasons that he is one of our best officials.”

Ross is meanwhile hoping that home advantage will be a crucial factor in today’s encounter, with the Buddies having won all of their league fixtures on their own patch so far this season.

“We’re pleased to be back at home,” he said. “We’ve had a couple of tough away games and we came through them with four points from six, which was very good.

“Our home form has been very good throughout the year, and this season in particular, so we’re looking forward to that.

“Then you have the fact it’s a derby match with a big crowd and everything that goes with that, so it’s really one to look forward to.

“I don’t think the new stadium had been a particularly positive venue for any of the St Mirren teams over the years. I played there in my own team and for one reason or another it just didn’t become that fortress.

“I think this recent period has been the first time that we’ve really had that momentum and a continuation of positive results at home, and I think the fans have welcomed that.”