Tuesday 12 December 2017

McGeady insists referee not to blame for stalemate

Ronnie Esplin

Aiden McGeady refused to blame referee Steve Conroy for Celtic's failure to reduce Rangers' seven-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League as the Old Firm derby finished 1-1 at Parkhead yesterday.

Conroy -- officiating in his first game between the Glasgow giants -- chalked off a first-half goal from Marc-Antoine Fortune when it looked like he had won fairly an aerial challenge with Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

The official was also lenient towards Kyle Lafferty when he only showed the Rangers striker a yellow card for a late challenge on Andreas Hinkel.

McGeady, though, insists Tony Mowbray's men can only blame themselves for being denied all three points.

"You can't really blame the referee for us not winning the game, we had more than enough chances to win it," said the Republic of Ireland international.

"We should have had the game wrapped up at half-time. We had the majority of chances and possession, and on another day it could have been three or four.

"We would have gone in 1-0 up at half-time if the goal was given but I would not say this guy or that guy should have been sent off.

"I haven't seen (the disallowed goal) again. At the time I thought that the referee gave it and he pulled it back for a foul.

"I don't know what the referee gave it for, maybe it was for a barge on the 'keeper, I don't know, but from where I was the referee did okay."

Despite the draw, McGeady insists the title race is far from over.

"It felt like a defeat at full-time," he said. "Everyone was gutted when the (Rangers) goal went in, it was deflating for everyone, it was very hard to take.

"But it's not the be-all and end-all because Rangers drew today. The league is not over and we don't have to go out and spend massively and get a full new team in.

"The players who played today did well," he added. "We switched off at the set-piece and that has happened to us a few times this season but we should have done our job at the other end."

Irish Independent

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