Lennon picking his words carefully

13 April 2011 12:19
neil lennon was back for post-game media duties but left a lot of things unsaid. Neil Lennon described the SFA's decision regarding Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist and playersMadjid Bougherra and El-Hadji Diouf as "interesting" after Celtic's 1-0 win at St Johnstone last night. Lennon has just served a four-game ban by the SFA for clashing with Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist at the end of the Scottish Cup fifth-round replay at Parkhead on 2 March. However, McCoist successfully appealed against the two-match ban he was given and the players escaped with fines and a warning about their future conduct after facing the SFA's disciplinary committee to answer a case of "misconduct of a significantly serious nature" during the same game.  Lennon said: "You have to write about it. I can't comment on a lot of things otherwise I will be back where I was last week (in the stand). You've got to see it for what it is. If you have any media integrity at all, you will call it as it is. It is interesting that out of the fall-out of the 'shame game' as people called it, I am the one who got punished and three other people got let off. It is a pity I didn't get to see the minute of the meeting. I might ask, I haven't got round to that as I have been too busy. Would there have been any point me appealing? No. That's why I didn't appeal. I will be interested to see the papers tomorrow and the fall-out. I will keep my counsel for another time."   Paul McBride QC represented Lennon during the disciplinary hearings with the SFA. He claimed the ruling body was now the "laughing stock of world football" following their recent decisions. However, Lennon said: "That is Paul's opinion. He is not speaking on behalf of the club or myself but obviously Paul is someone I respect and admire very much and if he is saying that there might be a lot of other people thinking that as well."   Lennon was back in the dugout for the game against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park, the first time following serving his time in the stands. He was pleased to see his side go five points clear of Rangers at the top of the SPL with a 1-0 win courtesy of a Beram Kayal goal. The manager was delighted to be back in dugout. He said: "It was great. It got a wee bit fraught, at 1-0 you are always a wee bit worried that St Johnstone could equalise but I was really pleased with the performance, they answered a lot of questions."  Saints survived a controversial penalty claim near the end when substitute Michael Duberry appeared to handle the ball twice in the box as he lay on the ground but referee Iain Brines took no action. The incident proved to be inconsequential but Lennon said: "It is a clear-cut penalty. If he doesn't give the free-kick against Georgios (Samaras) then he has to give the penalty. He just used his two hands." St Johnstone boss Derek McInnes revealed that Duberry was equally bemused by the incident. He said: "I spoke to Michael. I think it was a nudge by Samaras but he has landed on the ball and then he has quickly realised he is still on the park and the referee has not blown. He moved it again - but he said that he didn't know what to do. But I don't think we can deny Celtic had most of the game. We asked the players for a committed performance and we got that for the majority of the game."