BRENDAN RODGERS has insisted Celtic have every right to appeal Scott Brown’s red card in the 2-2 draw against Ross County last Sunday.
The Hoops skipper was dismissed following a full-impact challenge on Liam Boyce as the game descended into farce after referee Don Robertson was conned by cheat Alex Schalk into awarding the Highlanders a penalty-kick.
Boyce netted the late leveller and was then booked for a foul on Brown, who was also the victim of another dodgy tackle from Schalk that was missed by the ropey match official.
The Bank Holiday weekend ensured the appeal freed the Scotland international to lead out the champions against Sevco Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-final tomorrow.
Rodgers maintains the club believe they are well within their rights to believe a yellow card was the correct call.He said: “I didn’t think it was a red card hence the reason for us to appeal – irrespective of Easter holidays and notes from the SFA.
“I felt yes the player was caught late and we appeal because of the inconsistency.
“The same referee was the referee when Kieran Tierney got a challenge in the Motherwell game at home and the guy (Ryan Bowman) got a yellow card.
“Scott was a fraction late. Yes it was aggressive and at speed, but it was mistimed. And it was also following a moment of…well, I think we’ve all seen…and it’s absolutely natural for a player to be angered.
“He’s gone to be hard and aggressive to win the ball and he’s a fraction out.
“For me, there was a reason there to appeal. Am I glad to have him? Absolutely because he’s been outstanding and not once has he ever shown that this season. Not once.
“How he’s kept his temper and his cool, how he’s played in pressure games. He’s been calm.
“It was a moment that he’s never shown all season.
“He’s experienced enough to know. He knows where he’s at. He could have been not involved in the game and that would have been a disappointment. But he is. And that’s the most important thing.”
The reaction to the tackle from the Ross County players, including the penalty cheat helped Robertson make up his mind.
Watching side on from the incident in Dingwall last Sunday it was at the time regarded as harsh but nevertheless worthy of a red by fellow Celtic supporters who even from that part of the ground all knew that the incident minutes before was blatant cheating from the home side.
However Brown’s tackle doesn’t look like a red card watching on reply, he is late and it is a foul and without the incidents that had just occurred in that match – which were NOT the fault of any Celtic player – it would have been a yellow all day long.
Ross County players helped Robertson make his mind up and Celtic have good reason to appeal and to expect a favourable outcome.
*We’ve had around a dozen emails asking if we can extent the offer of the Jock Stein t-shirt and the new book IN THE HEAT OF LISBON both for only £19.67. At the risk of having Paul67 nipping my ear -he’ll be away to his boy’s football anyway this morning! – let’s keep it going until Sunday at midnight or until we have no t-shirts left. Stocks are running low though so don’t be surprised if it ends sooner.