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‘I DON’T DESERVE BAN,’ LENNON

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NEIL LENNON insists he should escape punishment for his on-pitch celebration during Hibs’ 5-5 draw with Rangers at Easter Road yesterday.

The Irishman has accused the Ibrox supporters of targeting him with sectarian abuse.

Lennon raced onto the field following Jamie MacLaren’s stoppage-time leveller in a remarkable encounter.

The Edinburgh club’s boss was quickly ushered down the tunnel by fourth official Bobby Madden before the final whistle blew.

The incident is likely to see Lennon – already sitting on a suspended two-match ban his bust-up with ref Kevin Clancy at Rugby Park in February – land in new trouble.

But he claimed his aeroplane-style celebration was merely in response to the taunts aimed at him from the away end.

He said: “Well they make it personal don’t they? You all hear it. They are singing sectarian songs at me. It’s just a little bit of ‘have some of that’.

“It was worth it. Trust me. Bobby was fine about it. I should not get a ban for that. I was just letting them know how pleased I was to get the equaliser.

“I enjoyed the moment. It was a big jumbo jet there.”

The build-up to the last-day league clash had been dominated by Lennon’s threat to quit following the team’s midweek 2-1 defeat against Hearts at Tynecastle.

But the former Celtic manager admitted he had “spat the dummy” after the derby loss.

He added: “There has been speculation, but I caused the speculation. There’s no issue with the board.

“I wanted to break into that bracket of Aberdeen and Rangers and we have come up short.

“Fourth is acceptable for some people, not for me.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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