NEIL LENNON DEMANDS CONSISTENCY
Neil Lennon called for consistency from officials after Celtic were denied a late penalty in their 1-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League defeat by Dundee United at Tannadice.
The Hoops boss is currently serving a three-game touchline ban - with another three-game ban suspended - for running on to the pitch at the end of the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Hearts at Hampden last month to confront referee Euan Norris, who had awarded the Tynecastle side a controversial penalty.
Norris pointed to the spot on that occasion when a Marius Zaliukas shot debatably hit the arm of Joe Ledley and then brushed against the hand of Victor Wanyama, and Craig Beattie converted to send the Jambos in to the final against Hibernian.
With Celtic trailing on Saturday to a first-half header from United midfielder Scott Robertson, referee Iain Brines ignored the Hoops' claims for a spot-kick when Emilio Izaguirre's cross hit the hand of home substitute Keith Watson.
Asked if he thought it should have been a penalty, the Celtic boss replied: "Well, you tell me. What do you want me to do, criticise the referee? I have a three-game ban hanging over me already.
"What is the difference between the penalty given against us in the semi-final and that handball today?
"He (Iain Brines) will just say it wasn't a penalty but I want to know what is the difference.
"Maybe I should ring John Fleming (the Scottish Football Association's head of referee development) tomorrow and ask him what is the difference because if they want to give them against us as a penalty, then that one today has to be a penalty as well. You've got to be consistent.
"I am going to get accused of being a sore loser or blaming referees but it's not the point, what I want is an answer and I don't feel I get them."
Lennon revealed that defender Glenn Loovens suffered a hamstring injury in the warm-up which led to him being replaced by Thomas Rogne, who came off with the same complaint.
Those two escaped the wrath of the Northern Irishman, who threatened to extend the season for some of his players beyond next week's final game against Hearts.
"It was a disappointing result and I am annoyed," he said.
"I was not happy with the attitude of some of the players out there today.
"Some of them are on holiday mode already. We were wasteful with the ball in the final third, we should have scored and I don't remember my goalie making a save in the whole game.
"We need to knuckle down again this week. We are making some plans with fitness testing this week to compare to where they are when they come back for pre-season.
"So they were in for a tough week but it may even be tougher now after today because I am not happy with a few of them.
"They better be (ready for one final push) otherwise they won't be going on holiday just yet."
Peter Houston was "embarrassed" at his side's 5-0 defeat at Rangers in midweek but was happy with the way his side responded against the other half of the Old Firm.
"I was proud of them this time," he said. "I was hoping for a reaction and I got a reaction."
The Tannadice boss then entered the debate about the future of the administration-hit Ibrox club.
United chairman Stephen Thompson admitted earlier in the day that there is dilemma facing the SPL board over what to do with a 'newco' Rangers, if such a situation arises.
Thompson is part of the league's board that will vote on preferred bidder Bill Miller's proposal for Rangers to retain its place in Scotland's top tier, and told BBC Scotland: "This season we got £1.4m from the SPL. If we only get £200,000 to £300,000, then how do we fill the £1m?
"But fans are talking about boycotts. It's a lose-lose situation."
Houston said: "I think we need to keep Rangers in the SPL. Supporters all over the country will disagree with me but being at the sharp end of it with regards what it could do for Scottish football, we need them.
"If £600,000 was cut off my budget, I would have hardly anything left.
"I am just being honest. Rangers have to be punished, how I don't know but it wouldn't help us for Rangers to drop into the Third Division."
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