Neil Lennon refused to let his dismissal from the touchline spoil a winning start as Bolton Wanderers manager following his struggling side’s 1-0 victory at Birmingham City in the SkyBet Championship.
The former Celtic boss was sent to the stands late on for leaving his technical area one too many times as Craig Davies waited to take a penalty after being fouled by goalkeeper Darren Randolph, who was sent off.
Ironically, Lennon had en-croached while trying to tell Lee Chung-Yong or Jay Spearing to take the spot-kick instead of Davies. In the end, Davies did take it – and blazed it over the crossbar – but Matt Mills’ first-half header was enough to seal the win.
“I got sent off basically for leaving the technical area and walking a few yards onto the pitch to give instructions to my players,” said Lennon, who will fight any touchline ban.
“The lady [fourth official Amy Fearn] said I was consistently doing it and she did warn me, to be fair. But you’ve got to understand it’s my first game, we’re in a difficult position and maybe I was overexuberant, but I’m not used to the ways of it down in England.
“I think it was very, very harsh, a little bit pedantic and unnecessary. I wasn’t remonstrating with anyone. I’ve seen a lot worse in Scotland, put it that way.
“A few times the lady warned me. I tried to deal with it with a bit of humour because I want to make a decent impression. But sending me off was a bit over the top.
“I’ll appeal it. I’ve got to.”
He added: “I hope my reputation from my time in Scotland hasn’t preceded me. I haven’t been sent off for two years.
“My only misdemeanour today was leaving the technical area, showing enthusiasm. Officials need to cut people a bit of slack.”