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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Old Firm ref gets red card from Robbie as Brown appeal nears

Celtic have continued their criticism of Old Firm referee Dougie McDonald ahead of tomorrow's appeal on Scott Brown's red card.

The appeal was lodged against the decision straight after the match, with McDonald asked to review the incident through video evidence. News that Celtic were in discussions with the SFA about refereeing matters was leaked ahead of Sunday's match, with the club website highly critical of the referee's performance.

Yesterday, the editorial of the club magazine, the Celtic View, showed a picture of Brown being ordered off and simply stated, "That's why we're paranoid" under it.

Earlier this week, club ambassador Billy McNeill said: "It's been happening for 50 years. The big decisions have always gone against my club and in favour of Rangers. Nothing has changed."

The outcome of Brown's appeal is eagerly awaited by Celtic, who have compiled a dossier of incidents that have concerned them this season.

Celtic are believed to be unhappy about the way that Madjid Bougherra and Kyle Lafferty avoided being sent off, and Robbie Keane has joined the criticism.

Keane (pictured) was on the end of persistent fouling throughout the match and, although he didn't name Bougherra, it was clear that he had the Algerian on his mind.

The on-loan Spurs striker said: "There were worse tackles than Scott Brown's on Sunday. I won't say any names, but there was one other player who should definitely have been sent off for them.

"What can you do? The referee has obviously seen something different from what we did. I'd rather not talk about refs, I'll just get into trouble."

Celtic could start Sunday's game at Falkirk trailing Rangers by 13 points but Darren O'Dea is refusing to concede that the title is over.

O'Dea played for an hour of the Old Firm match as a substitute for Thomas Rogne and is determined to use the pain of their defeat against their Glasgow rivals last week as motivation.

He said: "It's unacceptable to be losing to Rangers the way we are just now. We didn't do enough to win the game at the weekend and that was one we needed to win. Some players would like to shut off from it. But I think the only way to really understand it is to listen to everything.

"That includes sitting in the changing room and hearing the Rangers fans outside. If you don't win the league, you are going to have to listen to it for another year.

"You need to accept it and be big enough to put it right. This year, so far, we've not been doing that."

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