Neil Lennon concedes he must improve conduct at Celtic


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The Independent Football

Neil Lennon admits he has to improve his conduct as he gets ready for another meeting with the Scottish Football Association's judicial panel on Thursday.

The Celtic boss has just served a two-match touchline ban for criticising referee Willie Collum following the Scottish Communities League Cup final defeat by Kilmarnock at Hampden in March.

Lennon will appear at Hampden again after being issued with a notice of complaint accusing him of breaching three SFA rules relating to Hearts' 2-1 William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final victory, which came courtesy of Craig Beattie's controversial late penalty.

The Northern Irishman ran on to the pitch to confront referee Euan Norris over the penalty award, which came when a Marius Zaliukas shot hit the arm of Joe Ledley and then brushed against Victor Wanyama.

Celtic were then denied a penalty when the ball struck Hearts defender Andy Webster.

Lennon "deeply" regrets confronting Norris and accepts that he was out of order.

The Celtic boss said: "It was an instinctive reaction action born out of frustration more than anything else.

"I know I have to conduct myself better than that.

"I will be sending correspondence to the referee as an apology as well.

"It's one actionable thing that I've done that I shouldn't have done.

"I will go to the tribunal and hopefully get a fair hearing as I did the last time and take what's coming."

The two other charges Lennon faces relate to comments made on Twitter.

The Hoops boss tweeted soon after the game: "Referee told players he thought Wanyama handled...feel so sorry for players and fans..I think it's personal myself."

He then re-tweeted a comment from a Celtic supporter which suggested the club "pack our bags and get out of this league that is run by crooked £SFA officials".

Lennon said: "I don't want to talk about that (tweeting) now, I will discuss my case on Thursday.

"But you can't take away the human element from managers, we are human beings at the end of the day.

"There are times we get angry and aggrieved and make mistakes in that aspect of the game but I think I get a rough ride.

"Over the course of the season, up until the League Cup final, there was not one thing I did wrong.

"We had the incident at Ibrox [no further action was taken against Lennon after being sent to the stand at half-time] which I have had the hearing for.

"So over the course of the season we are talking about one incident, so I don't think I have to change that much, but I will temper those actions if I can."