Lennon thrilled to make touchline

23 May 2013 05:47

Neil Lennon has expressed his delight at being able to lead Celtic out in the William Hill Scottish Cup final after escaping an immediate touchline ban.

The Celtic manager was given a one-game suspended touchline ban during a Scottish Football Association disciplinary hearing, meaning he will be free to sit in the Hampden dugout for Sunday's clash with Hibernian.

He later wrote on his official Twitter account: "Thrilled to be on the touchline for SundayCup Final is always a special occasion."

The former Celtic captain was found guilty of entering the "playing zone'' within 15 minutes of the final whistle of Celtic's 3-1 Clydesdale Bank Premier League defeat by Motherwell last month while serving a three-match touchline ban.

With the hearing falling at inopportune moment, the Northern Irishman feared being cast away from the heart of the action as he bids to complete the double and claim his second Scottish Cup win as a manager.

Lennon was forced to sit in the Hampden stand when Celtic lost the 2011 League Cup final to Rangers during a previous touchline suspension, but the SFA suspended his ban until the end of next season and it will only be triggered if he breaches another touchline ban.

The former Celtic skipper was summoned to the Fir Park match officials' room by referee Euan Norris after the second match of a three-game ban for using offensive language towards St Mirren captain Jim Goodwin.

Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels and his club were originally scheduled to face a total of three charges on Thursday but that case has been postponed until June 6.

The charges all relate to comments Shiels made about Celtic in a radio interview last month.

He told BBC Radio Scotland: "They have got a massive influence in the judicial panel and things like that, decisions that's made. Celtic are the monster of Scottish football."

Source: PA