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Celtic manager Neil Lennon rails at referee

Celtic manager Neil Lennon could attract the attention of the Scottish Football Association following his strong criticism of referee Craig Thomson on Wednesday night.

• Hooper hits out at referee
Lennon warned over ref criticism

Lennon was sent to the stands as Celtic lost 2-0 to Hearts. The Bhoys were also punished on the pitch when Joe Ledley was dismissed for a strong challenge on Ian Black and Lennon was further incensed when Celtic were denied a second-half penalty.

The Celtic manager was spotted squaring up to fourth official Steven McLean after he was instructed by referee Craig Thomson to leave the touchline and go into the stands - just the latest incident that has occurred between Celtic and match officials this season.

Now Lennon has risked a touchline ban by questioning McLean's decisions and suggesting the standard of refereeing in the SPL is not of the necessary quality.

"I still don't know why I was sent off," Lennon told the BBC. "The referee didn't say anything to me. All he did was come over on the advice of his fourth official and sent me to the stand which was a scandalous decision. I want clarification on it but they'll probably have their story ready already.

"There was no talk between me and the referee so it was obviously the fourth official's decision to send me to the stand and I am not happy about it at all.

"Joe Ledley's sending-off was a ridiculous decision as well - it was a good tackle. I'm well aware a few of the boys were off colour tonight but we were a lot more like it in the second half until we went down to ten men."

When asked if he would like to discuss his growing list of grievances with match officials, Lennon replied: "Probably, but at the minute I don't know where my relationship lies with officials. They keep getting big decisions wrong - and they keep changing decisions as well. Craig is supposed to be one of the best officials in the country. It doesn't say a lot for the rest of them if that is the case.

"I don't want to go too far down the line in case I get myself into more trouble but Jim Jefferies was sitting in the stand tonight. Now I'm going to be sitting in the stand for a couple of matches. We can't all be wrong."

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