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Friday 2 December 2016

Craig Gordon: Ref was right not to send me off for Ross Count tackle

File photo dated 01-08-2015 of Celtic's Craig Gordon (right) is booked for penalty box challange on Ross County's Jackson Irvine (left) during the Ladbrokes Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow
File photo dated 01-08-2015 of Celtic's Craig Gordon (right) is booked for penalty box challange on Ross County's Jackson Irvine (left) during the Ladbrokes Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow

Craig Gordon believes referee Willie Collum was "absolutely spot-on" not to send him off in Celtic's 2-0 Ladbrokes Premiership win over Ross County on Saturday.

The Hoops goalkeeper brought down Jackson Irvine outside the box in the first half when the former Celtic player was clean through and the yellow card punishment sparked widespread debate.

However, Gordon, in Baku for the second leg of Celtic's Champions League third qualifying round tie against Qarabag on Wednesday night, cannot understand the fuss.

He said: "I think the referee got the decision absolutely right.

"It was very difficult for him to score from that angle, especially with Virgil van Dijk getting back. Everyone who has looked at it has stopped the play just as the contact was made.

"No one realises he still has a minimum of three steps still to take before he can even think about having a shot at goal which means the play would have moved on further.

"At the time and having watched again, I am 100 per cent convinced that the referee got it absolutely spot-on. I can't understand what all the hype was about."

Much has been made of the poor state of the pitch at the Tofik Bakhramov Stadium where Wednesday night's match will be played, which has been caused by high temperatures.

Gordon admits he could be forced to go route one as the Hoops look to defend their 1-0 lead from the first leg.

"I don't know, we will see the pitch on Tuesday night," he said, speaking as part of a Celtic delegation which visited a centre for displaced children in Baku to donate strips and balls.

"It might be the case (that tactics need adjusting). We will discuss that when we see how the conditions are but it is certainly an option.

"Both teams will have to deal with it."

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