Mowbray tries to play down reunion with Old Firm referee

Tony Mowbray has no concerns with Celtic captain Scott Brown returning from suspension to face the man who controversially sent him off at Ibrox last month.

Referee Dougie McDonald caused a storm when he sent off the midfielder in the 1-0 defeat against Rangers after he tangled with Light Blues midfielder Kyle Lafferty.

The Parkhead club had criticised officials in the lead-up to the game and afterwards, through Celtic's official website, it was claimed that any "fair-minded person" would not have agreed with the decision.

Brown will serve the third game of his subsequent three-match SPL ban against St Mirren but will be available again for the visit of Killie on Saturday, where McDonald will be the man in the middle.

However, the Hoops manager was relaxed about the situation, saying: "I didn't know who Dougie McDonald was until someone explained to me that he was the referee at Ibrox.

"Do I have a problem with it? No. I think it was pretty obvious to everyone that it wasn't a sending-off but I don't think anyone questioned the ref's integrity. In his opinion, it was a sending-off, but to most of the rest of the world, it probably wasn't.

"So no one is questioning him. It is a difference of opinion, that's all. I'm sure he is a very good official and we have no problems with him."

Mowbray was more concerned about the trip to Paisley where the Hoops will be hoping to reduce Rangers' lead at the top of the SPL to seven points.

Given that most of Celtic's troubles this season has stemmed from defensive problems, the former Hibernian and West Brom manager was strangely reluctant to focus on the tightening up of his defence in recent games. It is the first time in two years that Celtic have kept three clean sheets in succession but Mowbray said: "Football is about winning games. It's not all about keeping clean sheets. It's not a bad statistic but I am not giving it too much consideration.

"We have young defenders and they are doing very well but sometimes if you talk about how good it has been it can become a story in the next game if you lose a couple of goals. We try and keep clean sheets in every game and we try and score goals in every games, that's how you win games."

Mowbray hinted that Lukasz Zaluska will again keep his place in goal for the trip to Paisley. Regular goalkeeper Artur Boruc returned from compassionate leave last week but was left on the bench in the win over St Johnstone at the weekend.

"Lukasz has had a couple of clean sheets which is good for his confidence and we'll see what happens as the season goes on," the former Celtic defender said.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine