Rangers manager Walter Smith was full of praise for Hibs and accepted culpability for the champions' lacklustre display, expressing his regret at not using more of his fringe players in recent weeks. "Tiredness is not an excuse," he said. "All credit to Hibs first and foremost.
You always look at yourself in these situations and maybe I have asked too much from too many players in the last four or five games. I should maybe have changed the team around a little bit."We had warnings in previous games, like the draw at home to Inverness. We had a lot of possession but the required edge was missing."It is obviously a disappointing night for us but take nothing away from Hibs. They were excellent, especially in the first half hour."
Absence of same:
... attention was diverted from their exploits by yet further refereeing controversy, with Craig Thomson under fire from Lennon after sending off Joe Ledley after 56 minutes for a two-footed tackle on Black. "It wasn't a foul never mind a sending off," stated Lennon. "It was a disgraceful decision."
The midfielder's exit was followed soon after by that of Lennon himself, sent to the stand by Thomson following remarks made to fourth official, Steven McLean, after Celtic were denied what they felt was a penalty when the ball struck Hearts substitute Ryan Stevenson's hand."It's a clear penalty, I can see that 45 yards away," said Lennon. "If the referee doesn't see it the standside linesman should see it. His arm was up and he's fisted the ball with his hand. Again here we are talking about referees after the game."