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Mowbray expresses 'disbelief' at ref calls

Tony Mowbray (pictured) has admitted to total disbelief over some of the decisions that have gone against Celtic this season.

The build-up to Sunday's third Old Firm clash of the season has been dominated by news that Celtic have been in talks with the SFA about a number of decisions that have gone against them this season. The timing of the story has piled extra pressure on Sunday's referee Dougie McDonald who sent off Aiden McGeady for simulation earlier this season against Hibs.

Celtic are believed to have raised various issues with the SFA including key decisions that went against them in this season's Old Firm matches.

Mowbray told Celtic's own Channel 67 service: "The last time that we went to Ibrox there were some huge decisions that didn't go our way to the extent that the official apologised the next day for getting some big decisions wrong.

"When I look back in the cold light of day and analyse some of the decisions that have gone against us this season, some of the time it's with total disbelief about how they came to those decisions.

"If the reports are right it will only bring clarification.

"I don't think that anyone would ever question the integrity of the officials anywhere in world football but in my own mind there has been a lot of decisions that I've found very difficult to understand.

"When I've looked back on them I've thought 'that can't be right'. There is a big game to come and this is probably not the time to discuss referees.

"What I do know is that we have a big game on Sunday and hopefully the referee has a good game and gets all the major decisions right."

SFA President George Peat let the cat out of the bag on Wednesday night when he criticised "a Celtic source" for leaking details of meetings with the SFA to discuss refereeing issues.

A "no comment" from Peat would have killed the story off but the SFA President added fuel to the fire by pointing the finger of blame at Celtic.


He said: "We find it disappointing and somewhat bizarre that, in the build-up to an Old Firm derby, an unnamed Celtic 'source' would seek to exert additional pressure on match officials."

The SFA's top referees returned yesterday from a sunshine summit in Malaga to find that their performances have taken attention away from Robbie Keane's Old Firm debut.

Former Celtic captain Tom Boyd last night added his voice to the concerns about decisions that have gone against his old club. Boyd said: "On the evidence of what we have seen this season there has been evidence of a lot of outrageous decisions."

On the park Mowbray's main selection issue will be over whether he goes with teenagers Josh Thompson and Thomas Rogne or recalls Darren O'Dea from suspension.

Glenn Loovens is struggling to shake off a calf strain with Mowbray likely to stick with the defence that kept a clean sheet in last week's SPL win over Dundee United.