Neil Lennon has reflected on the incident that saw Leigh Griffiths “escape” a ban after his incident with Sam Woods of Hamilton on Sunday and frees the striker up to play against Motherwell tonight.
Reported by The Glasgow Times, Lennon said of the clash:
“From the angle I saw there was no deliberate act at all, you know sometimes when these things are slowed down they look worse than they are.”
“When he’s trying to get up there’s no malice there to actually stamp on the player. But his reaction in raising his hands and pushing someone on the chest, I didn’t like that.”
“I thought he was innocent. But his reaction afterwards, he needs to curb, because that could potentially put him in hot water. I don’t want that. I’m big on discipline.”
It follows on from his initial remarks after the game when the Parkhead gaffer criticised Griffiths for getting involved in a needless fracas, speaking to BT Sports (via The Daily Record) Lennon reiterated the importance of his side keeping their cool in the face of provocation.
“I haven’t seen it again, I’m not convinced he stands on him but he pushed the boy. That’s not a red card offence but he shouldn’t have done it. We’re very big on discipline here at the club and I don’t like to see things like that.
“It’s not a red card but he lost his temper. We need discipline at the minute. We can’t be doing with losing men on the pitch.”
Lennon will be fully aware that the only game that they have lost – outside of the Glasgow Derby – was when they had Ryan Christie sent off for a reckless challenge which ultimately cost them three points and will be keen to ensure that there isn’t a repeat.
Was Leigh Griffiths lucky to escape a red card against Hamilton?
Celtic face a difficult trip to Motherwell and will no doubt have to endure the physical tactics that the Steelmen adopt when facing either of the cities big two, heeding the advice of their manager will be of upmost importance if the Hoops are to maintain their comfortable lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership for another week.