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Lennon wants action over Dons chief's Ajer criticism

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Roaring success: James Forrest celebrates his goal during Celtic’s Boxing Day victory over St Mirren
Roaring success: James Forrest celebrates his goal during Celtic’s Boxing Day victory over St Mirren

By Ronnie Esplin

Neil Lennon believes the Scottish Football Association should look at Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack's "irresponsible" criticism of Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer.

Cormack accused Ajer of "feigning injury" after Sam Cosgrove was sent off following a challenge on the Norwegian in the Dons' defeat at Parkhead on Saturday.

The Pittodrie striker received a straight red card for the offence before then losing his appeal on Tuesday.

On his official Twitter account, Cormack said: "Sam will take his ban, but the compliance officer has a duty to review Ajer feigning injury with his triple salvo and miraculous recovery after Sam gets the red."

After Celtic's 2-1 win over St Mirren in Paisley, which kept them five points clear of Rangers at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership, Lennon was asked if the SFA should consider Cormack's comments.

The Hoops boss said: "Yes, I do.

"It is totally irresponsible and not factually correct. It made me very angry.

"We have been very balanced about it. It is naive to say the least. I think it is embarrassing for him to comment about my player's actions.

"Kris was the victim of it and he did nothing wrong. The kid is a model professional, an outstanding professional.

"For a chairman or owner of a club to say something like that, we are not tolerating that."

Lennon will be glad to have French striker Odsonne Edouard fit for the visit of Rangers on Sunday, after the French striker was only able to come off the bench in the Betfred Cup final win over the Gers at Hampden Park earlier in the month.

Edouard was involved in both Callum McGregor and James Forrest's first-half goals against St Mirren and had the ball in the net soon after the break, only to be ruled offside, before Cammy MacPherson's late deflected strike from a free-kick gave the home side a consolation.

Lennon said: "He's an outstanding centre-forward. I'm pretty much sure he'll start on Sunday and he makes us better.

"He's a threat and I like his physicality. I like his pace - he comes to life in the final third and he's such a clever player.

"His ball for Jamesy was sublime, the timing and weight was perfect. His all-round game is very good and he gives the team a lot of confidence.

"He was maybe unfortunate with the one in the second half as it looked onside so he didn't get the rub of the green there, but he's in outstanding form as the majority of them are."

St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin bemoaned the two goals before the interval which he thought could have been avoided.

He said: "The goals obviously change the game. That's where we lost it - cheaply in my opinion.

"We were the architects of our own downfall in terms of the manner of the goals. We had decent possession but gave it away cheaply in the middle of the park on both occasions."

Belfast Telegraph


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