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Neil Lennon awaits fate after clash with referee

Neil Lennon: May be in trouble. Picture: SNS

Neil Lennon: May be in trouble. Picture: SNS

  • by RONNIE ESPLIN
 

Neil Lennon faces an anxious wait to see if he is to face any action after another clash with referee Euan Norris.

The Celtic manager was called into the official’s room after his team’s 3-1 Clydesdale Bank Premier League defeat at Motherwell on Sunday.

The Northern Irishman was already serving a three-match touchline ban at Fir Park, which dated back to a run-in with Norris following last season’s 2-1 William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final defeat by Hearts at Hampden.

Lennon was handed a six-match suspension for running on to the pitch after the game to confront Norris in his anger at a penalty award against Celtic, and the three-match part of it which was suspended was triggered earlier in the month when he was found guilty of using offensive language during a match at St Mirren Park on 31 March.

The former Celtic skipper was in the stands to see referee Norris award a second-half penalty to Well when visiting defender Charlie Mulgrew tangled with Henrik Ojamaa just inside the area. Michael Higdon converted the spot-kick to give the home side a 2-1 lead.

It is understood Lennon had words with Norris in the tunnel area and, asked after the game if he had spoken to the referee, Lennon told Sky Sports: “He called me into his room. It was about a number of things but we’ll leave that confidential for now.”

On whether he might be in further trouble with the authorities, Lennon added: “I don’t know. Maybe.”

The Parkhead manager has to wait to see what, if anything, is contained in Norris’s report, which has to be submitted to the Scottish Football Association within 48 hours of the game.

Meanwhile, Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic is hoping to win a place in Lennon’s side for the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Hibernian next month. The Australia international, 20, has been on the fringes since signing from Central Coast Mariners in January.

Rogic said: “Anything’s possible. I’ll do whatever I can in training and in the matches to come to hopefully try and earn a spot in the team.

“You always want to play so you’ve got to be ready to take your chance. I’m just working hard at training, trying to play my part in the team’s success and hopefully get a bit more game time in the games to come.

“Every game’s important when you’re playing at Celtic. You’re expected to win every game. It’s important standards don’t drop and you keep performing.”

Rogic revealed he faces a particularly busy summer with the Australia national side. He said: “I get a chance during the off-season to go home and get a bit of time off but it won’t be long before we’re back for pre-season.

“There are three games for Australia in June, it’s quite a busy schedule. The first game is in Japan at the start of June then two games back in Australia are a week apart.

“We’re in camp for about three weeks, a week or two back home then back here.”

Celtic will play Union Berlin in a friendly match to celebrate the opening of the German club’s new main stand and the completion of their stadium.

The match at the An der Alten Forsterei Stadium will take place on Friday, 12 July and will be used by the Hoops as part of their preparations ahead of the Champions League qualifiers.

 

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