LISBON LION Jim Craig has come to the defence of under-fire referee Willie Collum by insisting that he made the correct call in red carding Jozo Simunovic at Ibrox earlier today.
Writing for his morning diary for The Celtic Star tomorrow, Craig has reviewed the incident and believes that there was no possibility of any other outcome after the Celtic defender’s arm appeared to make contact with Rangers striker Morales’ face.
“Should Simunovic have been red-carded? Most definitely,” Jim Craig stated.
“I was sent off in an Celtic/Rangers game for a lot less dangerous challenge that so I thought that there was no possibility of the referee not reacting the way he did.
“And as a tip to any other defenders watching the incident, if you are going to put in a challenge like that, don’t do it right beside the assistant referee!” the Lisbon Lion advised.
Jim Craig wasn’t at Ibrox today as he had a prior engagement – it was Mother’s Day and he wasn’t allowed to go! Even Lions have to do what they are told sometimes! However he did watch the game on television, and believes that a Celtic win was always on the cards, even though they were behind twice and were a man down with the score tied at 2-2 with a half hour to play.
“I must confess that I only watched the Old Firm encounter on TV, which does not always provide a good panorama of the tactics of both sides,” Craig stated.
“However, I saw enough to know that Celtic thoroughly deserved their win even though they did finish the match with 10 men!
“I always get a little nervous before these matches – I was much better when I was playing – and this one was no different. However, right from the start –and even taking into account the fact that we had to come from behind twice – I felt quite confident of the outcome.
The Lisbon Lion continued: “We were streets ahead at putting our moves together and coming forward; by contrast, their forward moves seemed stilted. Neither defence looked particularly comfortable but as the match went on, the Celtic back line was the less porous of the two, even having lost one central defender and brought in another. And in the latter part of the first half in particular, our build-up play and service to and around our forwards was much more effective.
The Celtic legend knows enough about the game to appreciate how both managers are feeling after the 3-2 win for Celtic, their fourth in a row at the home of Rangers since the host Club made it into the Premiership last season.
“Brendan Rodgers will be delighted and Graeme Murty really disappointed, especially when he reviews the bad miss by Morelos near the end, Craig said.
“However, any team challenging the team at the top knows that there will be few chances in a game like that and the ones that do come up, you have to take.
“I have no doubt that those will be some of the words in the Rangers manager’s post-match discussion with his team. I do not like to pressurize him but he has only four weeks before his players have to put on a better showing in the Scottish Cup semi-final!”
It looks like Jim Craig just started piling the pressure on the Rangers caretaker boss!
You can read all of Jim’s diary on The Celtic Star tomorrow morning.
The Celtic Star has a Lisbon Lion ‘exclusive’ ever single day but we are far too modest to brag about it! KTF.
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