Neil Lennon has hit back at former Rangers full-back and Motherwell youth coach, Maurice Ross, after he singled out specific Celtic players for criticism following the derby defeat at the weekend.
Speaking on BBC Sportsound, Ross questioned the fitness levels of both Leigh Griffiths and Albian Ajeti as well as the value currently being provided by the investment on Shane Duffy, however, this has angered the gaffer who has let him know in no uncertain terms that he has crossed the line, as reported by The Daily Record:
“I was surprised and very disappointed. Stephen Robinson contacted me to apologise profusely.“He was unhappy. Sometimes you are guilty by association and it’s nothing to do with him.
“He found it embarrassing. Motherwell, as a club, have really good people there and they found it embarrassing as well.
“And to be honest with you I found the comments embarrassing for Maurice, rather than for anyone else.
“It’s on him.
“He’s working, he’s an employee of another Premiership team and I don’t think he should be making any comment at all on any other team or any other players.
“The comments, in particular, on Ajeti, on Griffiths, on the money that Shane Duffy may or may not be on, I think was pretty abysmal.
“There is a professional standard, a professional etiquette, a professional respect and I think Maurice was lacking in all three of those.
“I don’t think he owes me an apology, he owes my players an apology, he owes my coaching staff an apology and I think he owes my club an apology.
“He owes his own club, that employ him, an apology.”
It would be one thing if Ross was a pundit being employed by the media to give his opinion but he has a moral duty as an employee of one of Celtic’s competitors to be respectful, criticism is one thing but the nature of the former Rangers man’s comments have obviously been considered inappropriate – for the first-team manager to apologise to Lennon says it all.
Was Ross out of order?
Chris Sutton and John Harrison may me outspoken, but they have the luxury of not being employed by Celtic, if Ross wants to garner a reputation as a controversial media personality, I’m pretty sure his current bosses would be more than happy to accept his resignation.