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Lennon: Name the whistle-blowers

Celtic manager Neil Lennon accepts that Old Firm players are subject to a different code of conduct than the rest of their colleagues in Scottish football -- but would like some transparency when they are brought to book for their misdemeanours.

Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor is banned from today's SPL game against Motherwell after being found guilty of violent conduct in the match against Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

None of the match officials noticed his attempted kick at Dons striker Chris Maguire but an anonymous complaint was subsequently made which the SFA acted upon, almost a fortnight after the incident took place.

Asked if the complainant should be known in these situations, Lennon replied: "Absolutely. If there was somebody making a complaint against one of my players, I would like to know who was making the complaint. Does anyone know who it is?

"You are under the spotlight more when you are at the Old Firm and our games are televised more than the other teams so it would be a concern, yes.

"I think it also happened to Glenn Loovens a year or two ago in an Old Firm game. But it's something that we wouldn't look for our players to do in the first place.

"They know we have a level of discipline and a code of conduct that we want to adhere to, so it would be a concern if one of my players did something like that.

"The most important thing for us, especially in Old Firm games, is to try to keep 11 players on the pitch. It's very difficult, it's an emotional game and emotions run high during the 90 minutes."

Meanwhile, Shaun Maloney has emerged as a surprise candidate for the Celtic captaincy in light of the news that Scott Brown is out for 10 weeks with an ankle problem.

Swedish stopper Daniel Majstorovic has acted as stand-in this season, but Lennon is contemplating thrusting the responsibility on to the Scotland international for the coming months.

Lennon, preparing for tomorrow's trip to play Dundee United at Tannadice, said: "There are a couple of players in mind and we will discuss it over the next couple of days.

"Daniel was stand-in captain against Inverness and he will be a candidate as will Shaun Maloney. Shaun has been here a long time and showed a great level of maturity and consistency in his performance and is one of the players that players respect.

"You don't have to be vocal as a captain to set a good example. I think Shaun's performances this season, and the way he handles himself on and off the field, have merited him being in the running as a potential captain.

"I didn't get the captaincy until I was 33. You need a certain level of maturity -- although that's one word you wouldn't have used about me when I played.

"You need to be able to take the game and the team by the scruff of the neck at times and guide them through difficult situations and periods in games. And you need to be responsible off the field as well."

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Irish Independent