Neil Lennon: Yellow cards for managers a great rule but my one was harsh

Neil Lennon has backed the innovation of yellow cards for managers but feels the caution he received during Celtic’s 3-1 win over Kilmarnock was harsh.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon during the Premiership match against Kilmarnock at Parkhead. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS

Lennon was booked by referee Greg Aitken for his show of dissent after the contentious late award of a penalty to Kilmarnock. Alan Power’s spot-kick was saved by Fraser Forster as Celtic made it six league wins out of six this season.

“I was a bit disappointed with the penalty but I’m not going to criticise the referee for that,” said Lennon. “I was not happy with the yellow card because I just reacted the same way any other manager would have. But overall I thought the referee was fine.”

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Managers and coaches can now be shown yellow and red cards by match officials after a summer rules change endorsed by the International Football Association Board.

“It’s a great rule,” added Lennon. “It’s like a warning to calm down. It’s fine. I’ve no issue with that at all. I was talking recently about not losing my temper. I didn’t lose it that badly but you get a warning and that’s it. I was voicing my opinion to the fourth official [Bobby Madden], maybe a bit demonstrably and you’re not allowed to do that any more, but there’s no real issue there at all. Bobby is a good official.”

Lennon was thrilled by Celtic’s display just three days after earning a 1-1 draw away to Rennes in the Europa League. He said:“Off the back of a really good performance in Rennes on Thursday night, they have cemented the league form with a brilliant display today.”

Christopher Jullien limped off with a hamstring complaint but Lennon is optimistic the damage to the central defender is not serious.