CRAIG Gordon believes Dundee United could be suffering from irritable footballers syndrome after three failed attempts to beat Celtic in less than a fortnight.
Saturday’s Scottish Premiership clash between the sides at Parkhead will be their fourth meeting in 14 days.
In the one draw and two Hoops’ victories, six red cards have been handed out, four for the Tannadice men, and there is the likelihood of more this weekend.
Both camps have been sniping at each other since Celtic’s home 4-0 William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final replay win over Jackie McNamara’s men on Wednesday night.
Tannadice defender Ryan McGowan was dismissed by referee Calum Murray in the closing minutes for a lunge at Liam Henderson, moments after Hoops forward Anthony Stokes had walked after reacting to a challenge from Paul Paton by lashing out at the United midfielder.
Asked if some aggro was inevitable in light of Celtic’s superiority, the Hoops and Scotland keeper said: “Possibly. It is never nice to lose and if you are on the back of a couple of losses it does irritate you.
“As professional players, that is what is going to happen.
“You are going to get annoyed by the fact that you haven’t won in a couple of games.
“It is unfortunate it has happened but this is another game and if we have to try to win the battles to win the game then that’s what has to happen.
“I have not been involved in any of the incidents. I have been well out the way out of it.
“And there hasn’t been animosity there, certainly not towards me, everything has been fine.
“We have to concentrate on our game, keep our discipline and keep as many players on the pitch as we can.”
Read more: Stephen Halliday: The downfall of Dundee United
Celtic manager Ronny Deila described McGowan’s challenge on Henderson as “stupid” and career-threatening although the Australian is free to play on Saturday having appealed.
The former Hearts and Sunderland number one was more circumspect in his analysis of the incident.
He said: “It was down the opposite corner from me and I haven’t seen it back on TV so it is not one I can say with any certainty was deserved or not.
“Liam was okay. There wasn’t a great deal said about it in the dressing room, we were just happy to get the win.”
Celtic captured the first part of their coveted domestic treble by beating United 2-0 in the Scottish League Cup final at Hampden Park last Sunday.
The cup replay win set up a Scottish Cup semi-final meeting with Inverness at the national stadium next month and Deila’s league-leading side are on course for a fourth successive title win.
“It is up to us to see if we can finish it off,” said Gordon.
“We have a very difficult semi-final against one of the most difficult teams to play against in Scottish football.
“But we have put ourselves in a great position and it is up to us to try to win the games between now and the end of the season to make it happen.
“We also still have to be wary in the league, there are still a lot of points to win there.”
Twitter | Facebook | Google+
Subscribe to our DAILY NEWSLETTER (requires registration)
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND MOBILE APPS
iPhone | iPad | Android | Kindle