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Smith aims parting shot at Celtic
Published : 25 Apr 2011 08:00:04
Rangers manager Walter Smith bowed out of his final Old Firm derby by having a dig at Celtic after the Glasgow rivals battled out a goalless draw at Ibrox.
The Hoops should have come out on top when they were awarded a late penalty after referee Craig Thomson ruled that Anthony Stokes was fouled in the box by Steven Davis. But goalkeeper Allan McGregor came to the rescue of Rangers to save brilliantly from Georgios Samaras and keep the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title race wide open.
Asked for his view on the spot-kick, Smith said: "It's not a penalty kick. But they got it and Allan McGregor saved it and Celtic will be happy now because their whole campaign this season has been the fact they have been asking for decisions."
He added: "Well, they got one and Allan McGregor saved it. That's it. The whole of the season, all we have heard is that Celtic don't get penalty kicks.
"They got one and they tried to get another one as well and both of them were exactly the same in my mind - both of the players ran into the players and they weren't penalties."
On McGregor, Smith added: "He has played well for us all season. Celtic's impetus came around the hour and we gave away some silly free-kicks, which allowed them to put pressure on us.
"They have good delivery and players capable of causing problems in the penalty area. They did that and Allan had to make a couple of decent saves."
Smith will step down as manager at the end of the season and, in a week where it emerged Lennon was the intended recipient of two parcel bombs, the veteran boss admits he will not miss the fiery fixture.
But the 63-year-old was also keen to defend the derby, claiming some past incidents have been blown out of proportion.
Smith said: "This year, it has reached a level that is obviously unacceptable. But, when you look at the games we have had this season, there has maybe been a couple of incidents in two of them."