THE Celtic football club manager is reported claiming he is being unfairly demonised by the media, and is deserving of a “bit more slack”.
Neil Lennon was speaking for the first time since running on to the pitch – a fortnight ago, following a Scottish Cup semi-final versus Hearts – to remonstrate with the referee.
And he used the occasion to apologise for his behaviour, expressing his “deep regret”.
Writes Mark Wilson, in today’s Scottish Daily Mail, Lennon was thoughtful and reflective. But he quotes him comparing the managers of Manchester United and rivals Manchester City who, on Monday night, were involved in a touchline argument during a vital English Premier League match.
Lennon is quoted – also in The Scotsman – as yesterday saying: “I saw the greatest manager in the game last night [Sir Alex Ferguson] having a spat with Roberto Mancini and people enjoyed it, enjoyed seeing Sir Alex show that passion, that he was up for the fight.”
He continued: “I enjoyed it. Two managers sticking up for their own team.
“Has there been a huge public outcry about what happened? No. They talk about a bit of a spat – big deal.
“When we do it up here, it’s two pages full and I get singled out, I get demonised, I’m this snarling sort of presence on the touchline.
“I don’t think I get a fair deal at times.
“I see it so many times. I have seen managers on the pitch remonstrating with referees before, some of them a lot more experienced than me.
“Yet they don’t think they get half of what I get.
“I just think I should be but a bit more slack at times.”