Lennon furious with referee Murray

26 March 2012 07:17

Neil Lennon and the Scottish Football Association are on course for yet another collision after the Celtic manager described his sending off at half-time at Ibrox as "a joke" and claimed he was "deprived of doing my job properly" during the 3-2 defeat to Rangers.

Lennon was raging when Hoops defender Cha Du-ri was sent off by referee Calum Murray in the 28th minute for a challenge on Lee Wallace. The Parkhead boss spoke to Murray going up the tunnel and was then called into the official's room where he was sent to the stand, although he said he had to watch the second half from the media room "for my own safety".

Lennon said: "My sending off is joke. I don't think I deserved to be sent off. My staff are very angry about it, my players are angry and disappointed. I spoke quite quietly and coldly to the referee in the tunnel. I didn't swear and didn't point any fingers. I told him I wasn't happy with his first-half performance."

He added: "I was speaking to the match delegate after the game and their version of events are different from mine but I've got witnesses to back me up. Alan Thompson (coach) and our PR person was there, a couple of other members of staff and players.

"I do my team talk at half-time, I walk back out and got called into the referee's room. I have been deprived of doing my job properly when my team needed me. I am very angry about that."

Lennon was also angry that he was prevented from sitting in the stand.

"That's another thing," he said. "I can't sit in the stand for my own safety, that sums things up in this country.

"I would have sat in the directors' box but I was told for my own safety that it wasn't a good idea. I watched the second half in here (the media room).

"The biggest game of the season and I can't go out in the stand to watch my team or send down messages.

"I have Stevie Woods (goalkeeping coach) at the door and he was running up and down the tunnel for me. I might as well have sat in the house and watched the second half."

Source: PA