FURIOUS Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom insisted Celtic’s Olivier Ntcham should have been red-carded THREE times in the frantic 1-1 draw at Easter Road.

The Englishman claimed referee Kevin Clancy let everyone at his club down when he failed to dismiss the Hoops midfielder following a first-half flare-up with Josh Vela.

Heckingbottom had already been sent to the stand after booting a plastic water container that hit the stand-side assistant referee in the immediate aftermath of the visitors’ equaliser from Ryan Christie that nullied the freakish own goal from Kristoffer Ajer in the seventh minute.

The under-pressure boss, with his side second bottom of the Premiership, told the Sunday Herald: “He [Ntcham] should have been sent off three times. For the three punches.

BRAWL BOYS…Odsonne Edouard and Josh Vela go for the ball with ref Kevin Clancy looking on. 

“That is the biggest injustice of the lot. Everybody has been let down by that. All the supporters, all the players, everyone connected with the club.

“Listen, there is an incident, a couple of arms thrown. He (Clancy) can claim he hasn’t seen it. Fine, but the fact he is actually stood right there between the two players when the third one comes in on the end of his chin, so you tell me why it isn’t a sending-off?

“Everyone can see it, everyone. I am up in the back of the stand in the top row and I can see it.

“Everyone makes mistakes, everyone has bad games. But there was something different about that. That wasn’t right.”

Heckingbottom, speaking of his banishment from the dug-out, added: “The red card was for confronting the fourth official, like I say because it was him who gave that goal. There was a swear word in there.”

The clubs will square up against at Hampden on Saturday November 2 in the Betfred League Cup semi-final with Neil Lennon’s men looking for their fourth successive triumph in the competition.


About Author


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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