Neil Lennon and Ally McCoist 'settle differences'

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The Independent Football

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has claimed he and Rangers assistant Ally McCoist have settled their differences following their touchline dispute at Parkhead.

Lennon reacted angrily to something McCoist said as the pair shook hands following Celtic's tempestuous 1-0 Scottish Cup victory, which saw three Rangers players sent off.

But the Celtic manager revealed the pair had spoken after the incident and moved on from their disagreement.

Lennon told the club's official website: "There was an incident on the touchline at the final whistle between myself and Ally McCoist, and obviously it's one that has attracted a lot of attention.

"We've both got a lot of experience of this fixture and know that sometimes, in the heat of the moment, things can be said and words exchanged.

"It is a passionate game and both of us want our team to win.

"However, we were still able to sit down after the game and, as far as we are concerned, the matter is closed."

The angry scenes during and after the game have been discussed in the Scottish Parliament and both clubs have agreed to meet officials from the Scottish Government and police to discuss the fall-out from the derby fixtures.

Rangers player El-Hadji Diouf clashed with both Lennon and Celtic assistant Johan Mjallby before joining Rangers team-mates Steven Whittaker and Madjid Bougherra in being shown a red card.

But Lennon felt his players had triumphed because of their ability to retain their calm amid one of the most controversial Old Firm games for years.

Lennon, who did not speak to the media after the game, was full of praise for his team, who recovered from a 2-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League defeat by Motherwell to set up a quarter-final at Inverness.

The former Celtic captain said: "It was a victory we thoroughly deserved and it was very pleasing to see the reaction we got from the players after last Sunday's disappointment.

"We tried to play football throughout the game and, over and above that, I was delighted that, in such an atmosphere, the team remained composed and disciplined during what was, at times, a difficult game."