RONNY DEILA has backed Scott Brown over diving claims and said: “My captain is no cheat.”

The all-action midfielder was booked by referee Craig Thomson after falling in the box following an awkward challenge from Inverness Caley Thistle’s David Raven in the lacklustre 1-1 draw.

But Deila said: “Scott Brown is the last man in the world anyone can accuse of diving. He is a tough guy. It’s hard for me to say what happened because I haven’t seen it again – but it’s not a big issue for me.”

More worrying for Deila was his side’s lack of fire against a team they’ll have to see off at Hampden next weekend in the Scottish Cup semi-final to keep their treble dream alive.

He said: “That’s going to be a tough game. Inverness are the third team in the league. Few teams have done it before, winning the treble and you can see why it’s difficult.

“This shows the game next Sunday is going to be even. You need to be up for every game and be ready, but this was a disappointing performance.

“We had a lack of energy and were a second too late in our challenges. We didn’t get the tempo we wanted on the ball.

“We didn’t create the chances we wanted, either.

“Even though we had a lot of possession we didn’t create so much to score another goal.

“We controlled the game, but one point is all we got and that’s probably what we deserved.

“We just need to make it right when we play Kilmarnock on Wednesday.”

Celtic’s traveling support made their feelings clear towards the referee yesterday. Thomson allowed the Inverness players freedom to kick their opponents and even those on bookings were hardly walking the proverbial tight-rope. Thomson wasn’t interested in producing a red card for their hefty re-offending.
It is clear that he had a perfect view of the penalty incident which was a clumsy challenge with contact. Penalty? Probably. Dive? Never.
It is the kind of penalty referees give to Celtic when we are a couple of goals ahead. In doing so the season averages are sorted and the honest mistakes are masked.
Craig Thomson, we know you are one…
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