Caixinha on Scott Brown appeal: ‘Rangers would do the same’

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha will face Celtic for the first time on Sunday. Picture: SNS
Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha will face Celtic for the first time on Sunday. Picture: SNS
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Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha has no problem with Celtic’s decision to appeal Scott Nrown’s red card.

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Celtic’s chances on Sunday will be boosted by the availability of their skipper despite his weekend sending off against Ross County last weekend.

Brown is free to face Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-final after the newly crowned Ladbrokes Premiership champions lodged an appeal against the dismissal, with the hearing scheduled to take place next Thursday.

He is unlikely to escape punishment, though, with the midfielder’s lunge on Staggies striker Liam Boyce judged a sending-off offence by referee Don Robertson.

But Caixinha will not argue with Brendan Rodgers’ decision to contest the case in order to make use of his captain.

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“We would do the same,” confessed the Portuguese coach. “If I had one player who was in my starting 11 or match-day 18 who I really counted on and had conditions to appeal, I’d do the same.

“So [Celtic] are taking the right decision.”

Robertson did not get it all right in Dingwall, however, with his decision to reward County forward Alex Schalk’s blatant dive with a penalty sparking a fresh round of debate on the standard of Scottish officiating.

The under-fire whistler will be on duty again on Sunday after being appointed as one of the additional assistant referees helping out Willie Collum.

That decision has been blasted by former Celtic frontman John Hartson, who believes the pressure being placed on Robertson could impact his decision-making skills.

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However, Caixinha, who could have Clint Hill back from injury for Sunday’s game, reckons the criticism has been too harsh.

He said: “I’ve had some very good chats with the league officials, so we have fantastic relations with all of them and fantastic relations with the fourth officials. So I have nothing to complain about.

“Even in the Kilmarnock game, when we analysed it after you could say we should have had three handballs. But sometimes that happens in a game. It’s not easy to be a referee.

“When I was an under-15 player in Portugal, we went to a tournament in Lisbon and there was a game involving all the coaches. Somebody had to referee it so I offered myself and I found out it’s not easy.

“Sometimes they take good decisions, other times they don’t - like me, like the players and like the media when you need to write about one game. It’s part of the deal and you need to respect it.

“It could be one decision that goes for me or goes for Brendan this weekend. The refs are human like us.”

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