McCoist refuses to apologise after ban

11 March 2011 08:30

Ally McCoist insists he will make no apology for defending his players after being hit with a two-match ban by the Scottish Football Association.

The Rangers assistant manager - who will take over the helm from Walter Smith in the summer - was handed the punishment on Thursday after clashing with Celtic boss Neil Lennon after last Wednesday's Old Firm derby.

McCoist said: "I felt I and the club had drawn a line under this issue last week. When I left the Celtic manager's room after a bottle of beer with Neil I felt that it was finished. But, to be honest, in the last 24-48 hours I think there has been comment and commentary which I feel I have to put my side of events over."

He added: "We as a coaching staff - and indeed some of the officials, not just on Wednesday but on previous occasions - had heard some of our players subject to verbal abuse. We felt that it was wrong.

"And I make absolutely no apology at all to the fact - whether it's Kyle Lafferty, El-Hadji Diouf or Stevie Naismith - I would defend those players in a case like that. I make no apology.

"As Neil and I were shaking hands at the end of the game I mentioned this to him. We then discussed the matter after that like two adults. We shared a bottle of beer and a glass of wine."

McCoist and Lennon were both charged with misconduct by the SFA for their part in the volatile fifth round replay, which Celtic won 1-0, and the Hoops boss was given a four-match touchline ban.

An SFA statement read: "The Scottish FA can confirm that Neil Lennon, the Celtic manager, and Ally McCoist, the Rangers assistant manager, have been charged with misconduct relating to the Scottish Cup fifth-round replay.

"Mr Lennon will incur an automatic four-match suspension from the technical area, owing to a previous charge of misconduct, while Mr McCoist will incur a two-match suspension. These will be effective from March 16, 2011.

"In addition, the Rangers players, El-Hadji Diouf and Madjid Bougherra, have been informed that they will be reported to the Disciplinary Committee for misconduct of a significantly serious nature. These will be considered at the committee's next meeting, on April 12."

Source: PA

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