Celtic assistant John Kennedy defends Scott Brown’s behaviour in Old Firm derby
Scott Brown’s behaviour was “first class” during and after Sunday’s victory over Rangers, according to Celtic assistant manager John Kennedy.
Andy Halliday received a second yellow card after remonstrating with Brown over his post-match celebrations, after the Celtic captain raised his arms in triumph in the direction of the away support.
The Scottish Football Association confirmed that Celtic defender Mikael Lustig and Rangers substitute goalkeeper Wes Foderingham had also been handed yellow cards by Bobby Madden for their part in the ensuing ruckus.
Brown, who was earlier booked for a foul on Scott Arfield, escaped further sanction.
Steven Gerrard later claimed Brown should be punished for provoking his players after both Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent lashed out at the midfielder during the Ladbrokes Premiership leaders’ 2-1 victory.
But Kennedy insisted the 33-year-old had done nothing wrong.
Kennedy, who was promoting Celtic’s season ticket renewals, said: “People are picking on Scott Brown a little bit and trying to make an issue with Scott, but Scott’s behaviour in the game was first class.
🎙️ John Kennedy spoke to the media at Celtic Park today as the #CelticFC Assistant Manager promoted the Club's Season Ticket renewal campaign.— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 1, 2019
“He conducted himself very well in our eyes. Not just on Sunday but in the main. I think he’s had three red cards in five seasons and one of them was taken back to a yellow.
“In terms of how professional he is and how he conducts himself, there’s no issues there.
“Obviously there is a coming together at the end of the game. People are trying to make an issue with Scott but the game finished in that corner. There is a tackle in that corner, the ball goes out for a throw-in, everyone is in that corner, the final whistle blows and, as always, there is a celebration.
“Scott’s on the pitch, he does what he does and there is nothing really wrong with it in my eyes. And obviously people take offence and it becomes an issue.
“But for us there was nothing in it. There was a coming together, it was quickly resolved and we move on.”
Morelos was shown a red card for elbowing Brown after the Celtic skipper clipped his heels but the match officials seemingly missed Kent striking the midfielder with a clenched fist after the former Scotland international picked up the ball in the wake of James Forrest’s winner. The SFA compliance officer has until 3pm on Tuesday to take retrospective action.
“I think they will obviously have to look at it and they will decide for themselves, but it’s hard not to punish that,” Kennedy said.
“I think on the pitch as professionals you have got to be responsible for your own actions and in this day and age with the cameras they have, even if the officials miss it, you can’t get away with it.
“That’s Rangers’ problem, not ours. The SFA will deal with that but in terms of the discipline and attitude of our players, it was first class.
“It’s a game of a lot of emotion. Throughout it, our players handled it very well. And they have done over a period of time.
“There’s a mentality here where they fight and work and stick up for each other but they know that they don’t overstep the mark because ultimately they let their team-mates down.”
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