Celtic manager Neil Lennon criticises 'abysmal' Scottish match officials

New Hoops boss wants his players to show togetherness on the field...
Celtic's new manager Neil Lennon has again criticised the standard of refereeing in the Scottish Premier League.

Lennon was instated as the Celtic caretaker manager in March, after the dismissal of Tony Mowbray, and he has now called for his players to question officials after witnessing what he calls "abysmal" refereeing last season.

During the four Old Firm derbies last season, Lennon believes that Celtic were continually on the end of bad refereeing decisions.

In October, the Hoops had two penalty appeals turned down by referee Craig Thomson, who later admitted to making errors.

In January, Celtic's Marc-Antoine Fortune incorrectly had a goal disallowed for an apparent foul on Rangers' goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

Finally in February, for the third consecutive Old Firm derby, Hoops skipper Scott Brown was sent off for clashing with Rangers’ Kyle Lafferty.

A "source" revealed afterwards that in the days before that February match, the club had analysed previous Bhoys' games and decided that they had been on the wrong end of bad decisions by the match officials more times than could be considered purely coincidence.

"I think some of the decisions we had last season were abysmal," Lennon is quoted as saying by Sporting Life.

"Particularly in the high-profile games - the Rangers games in particular.

"The club were justified in making a point about it."

On his desire to see his players question decisions, Lennon added: "I did it myself as a player, not to influence the ref but to let him know we weren't happy.

"Any challenges that were a wee bit heavy, there were two or three of us around the player who did it.

"There was a togetherness and I want to see that again. I want to see them sticking up for each other.

"They did that in the last few games. That's what teams are about - looking after each other on the pitch and having a good spirit off it.

"It's important. It's a basic thing in the game and it's difficult because in the modern game you've got all these different coaches but we'll try to develop the players and make sure there's an affinity with the club."

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