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Still Old Firm TFT
Published : 21 May 2011 11:14:47
Walter Smith may have left Rangers but he still gets to Neil Lennon. Neil Lennon hit back at Walter Smith for suggesting Celtic were the catalyst for a controversy-filled season by questioning the authority of officials. Smith began his retirement by claiming he was pleased to be leaving Scottish football, believing Celtic's relationships with both match officials and the SFA overshadowed the whole season. But Lennon said: "I think he's wrong, he's totally wrong." Earlier in the week Celtic defender Mark Wilson had also disputed Smith's claims saying: "We were right to defend ourselves in the way we did." Wilson referred back to the 17 October game at Dundee United, when Celtic had a penalty controversially rescinded in their 2-1 win and the subsequent fallout led to referee Dougie McDonald admitting he had lied to Lennon. McDonald eventually resigned which set off a chain of events leading to an officials strike in November. Asked what he thought of Smith's comments, Lennon said: "I don't think a lot of it at all. I was disappointed by it. He could have spoken to me about it first. He had plenty of opportunities to do that. I didn't think there was any real need for it either. Mark Wilson hit the nail on the head earlier this week. Listen, I went to the referee's room and the guy didn't tell me the truth. Then his assistant came out two days later and blew the whistle on him. I didn't, our club didn't. They did. Then there were cover-ups and non-truths. It led me to think, 'Well, I'm not the first Celtic manager not to be told the truth.' You know, I wasn't even going to go in to the room that day. It was the SPL match delegate who told me to go in and get a clarification on it. Again, our club were just looking for transparency. I don't think that's a lot to ask for. I mean, you being lied to. It's not even a major lie, but it just grew and grew and grew into something they created themselves. Have I done that?. Have I fuelled it? What set the tone? So if another manager had gone in and the whole thing got exposed, would they be pleased about it? Would they?" Lennon insists he will continue to fight for what be believes is right. He said: "If I see unfairness or something I don't think is right, then I will speak up about it. I don't see anything wrong with that. If any other manager wants to do it for his club, then I don't see anything wrong with that either. If I get criticised for it, fine. You get criticised for doing things as the Celtic manager anyway. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't."