FOOTBALL: Neil Lennon stands his ground over Ibrox celebrations

Hibernian manager Neil Lennon (left) in the dugout during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at the Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow
Hibernian manager Neil Lennon (left) in the dugout during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at the Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow

Neil Lennon insists he has no concerns about his goal celebrations following Hibernian’s leveller in the 3-2 Ladbrokes Premiership win over Rangers at Ibrox.

The Northern Irishman was back at the ground for the first time since 2012 when, as Celtic manager, he watched from the media room having been banned from the dugout for the second half by referee Calum Murray.

Rangers' Josh Windass (right) celebrates after Alfredo Morelos (obscured) scores

Rangers' Josh Windass (right) celebrates after Alfredo Morelos (obscured) scores

When striker Simon Murray cancelled out an early opener from Gers striker Alfredo Morelos in the 20th minute, the Hibs boss turned to the main stand, cupped his ears made and made a gesture.

In a feisty game Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack was shown a straight red card by referee John Beaton in the 35th minute following a melee and then Hibs took the lead soon after with a James Tavernier own goal.

Midfielder Vykintas Slivka drove in a third in the 65th minute before Tavernier reduced the deficit with a header.

When it was suggested that Rangers assistant manager Helder Baptista had spoken to the police about Lennon, he replied: “He should have got back in his box.

Rangers' Alfredo Morelos and Hibernian's Paul Hanlon (right) challenge for the ball

Rangers' Alfredo Morelos and Hibernian's Paul Hanlon (right) challenge for the ball

“Funny enough he didn’t (have something to say to me).

“I don’t know what he was saying, I assume he was unhappy about something

“I didn’t make a gesture, I celebrated a goal.

“If they are unhappy about it they can come and tell me.

“But I shouldn’t get into trouble for doing that.

“I am celebrating a goal. What way are you supposed to celebrate a goal?

“If I pick my nose someone will find something to criticise me for, I am celebrating a goal.

“You are looking for things that aren’t there.”

It was first meeting between the two clubs since the 2016 William Hill Scottish Cup final where David Gray scored a stoppage-time winner for Hibs before a pitch invasion led to clashes and several arrests and there was no little drama in this encounter.

Lennon was pleased by the way his side responded to going down to an early goal

He said: “I am thrilled by the win and the character and quality of the team.

“I didn’t see the sending off but John must have seen something.

“Some players lose their discipline, it can happen here and we took full advantage of it.

“We were superb in the second half, my only criticism is that we didn’t put Rangers away more comfortably.”

Gers boss Pedro Caixinha seemed to suggest that Lennon and his assistant Garry Parker were treated differently by fourth official Euan Anderson at the side of the pitch.

He said: “I am not talking about influence, I am talking about having the same treatment.

“If the opponents are allowed to have two coaches in the technical area, we are also allowed to have it.

“If I listen to what I listened to today, with the other manager getting to the fourth official the way he did, that allows me to go the same way but I don’t have the same principles.”