Celtic skipper Scott Brown has issued a statement via the official Celtic website following his sending off on Tuesday night against Barcelona at Celtic Park.
Brown was shown a red card following a kick out at Barcelona’s Brazilian forward Neymar which contributed to Celtic’s 1-0 defeat to the Catalan giants, with the game still 0-0 at the time of Brown’s sending off.
Speaking to the official Celtic website, Brown said: “I realise that I made a mistake in getting sent off last night. It´s something that happened in the heat of the moment but I shouldn´t have acted in this way. I still think it was a harsh decision. However, I recognise that I made a mistake and put myself and my team-mates in a difficult position. I need to live with that and there is no-one more disappointed than me about losing the match. There wasn´t a huge amount of contact at all, to be honest, but I have to accept responsibility for my actions – and I do.
“The team deserved to get something out of the game after playing so brilliantly and putting in so much effort against one of the best sides in the world. I was also disappointed for the supporters after the incredible backing they gave us during the game. They were magnificent once again.
“It was another fantastic performance from the lads after the Milan game, and although we´ve still to pick up a point from this group, we´ve shown we can compete against some of the best sides in Europe. We have four games to go in this group and everyone in the squad firmly believe that we can still qualify, and we are determined to get our first points on the board against Ajax in two weeks´ time.
“For my part, I can´t wait to get back on the pitch against Motherwell at the weekend and try and help us extend our winning run in the league.”
Celtic manager Neil Lennon hit out at Neymar, after the match, for his antics at Brown’s sending off, he said: “I don’t think Neymar does himself any favours by the way he behaves at times. So I don’t think I need to apologise to Neymar and I don’t think I need to justify the defence of my captain.
“There was a lot more going on in the game that warranted heavier punishment, so it was a game-changing decision. The sending-off is uncalled for and unnecessary. It’s very soft. I have looked at it; if there was any contact it was minimal.”
Brown will face an automatic one match ban for the red card and could face further punishment from UEFA.