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Celtic boss Lennon claims temper talk is exaggeration

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has hit back at criticism of his managerial style, labelling it “regurgitated rubbish.”

Lennon came under fire in sections of the media after being sent to the stands by referee Craig Thomson during the 2-0 defeat to Hearts on Wednesday night for remarks made to the fourth official and linesman following a penalty claim which was turned down.

The fiery Ulsterman is currently embroiled in a battle with the Scottish Football Association and officials since referee Dougie McDonald lied to him about the penalty decision he rescinded in Celtic's win against Dundee United at Tannadice last month.

Lennon also clashed with officials that day and was criticised afterwards by United manager Peter Houston for his enthusiastic celebrations at the final whistle.

While the former Northern Ireland international waits to see if he will incur a further penalty than the automatic two-match touchline ban, questions have been asked about his behaviour.

However, asked about the criticism, Lennon snapped: “I've been hearing this for 10 years, tempers, tantrums, the same regurgitated rubbish I got as a player I'm getting as a manager, by the same people.

“People can interpret it any way they want. I don't think I behave any differently from other managers.

“It just seems my behaviour gets exaggerated, maybe because of who I am and who I manage.”

Lennon was in a feisty mood at the pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday's game against St Mirren in Paisley.

Lennon was given his chance as interim boss at Parkhead in the wake of Celtic's 4-0 defeat at New Love Street in March, being handed the job until the end of the season after Tony Mowbray departed before being appointed permanent boss in the summer.

Lennon believes the trip to Paisley is the chance to put right the wrongs of that infamous defeat.

“Obviously I remember the fall-out after that vividly. I didn't think Tony would have gone, I just thought it would have been business as usual,” said Lennon.

“Obviously it was a disappointing result, a heavy result and I was obviously sorry to see him go.

“There's not many who played that night are still here, but if they are playing on Sunday it's a great incentive for them to put that night out of their memory bank and put right what went wrong.”

Belfast Telegraph


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