Neil Lennon tries to focus on Celtic win after attack

Celtic manager Neil Lennon focused on his team's success after he was attacked by a fan in the 3-0 win over Hearts at Tynecastle.

After Gary Hooper scored his second goal in the 49th minute, a supporter came out of the main stand and made straight for Lennon, sparking a fracas which also involved first-team coach Alan Thompson, police and stewards.

The intruder was marched up the tunnel by police and arrested, but Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan and his Scottish Premier League counterpart Neil Doncaster will meet today to discuss how the incident was allowed to occur, while Hearts have opened a full investigation.

However, Lennon preferred to heap praise on his team for keeping their Clydesdale Bank Premier League title dream alive with one match remaining.

Late last night, the Celtic boss wrote on his Twitter page: "Don't let what happened to me tonight take the shine off a wonderful team performance... I don't walk alone."

The arrested man was being held today with police authorities claiming there was little they could do to stop last night's incident.

Les Gray, chairman of the Scottish Police Federation which represents more than 17,000 officers, told BBC Radio Five Live: "There isn't a lot you can do to prevent an incident like that.

"This is an individual who has taken it upon himself to attack and it's absolutely horrendous.

"But unfortunately from a policing point of view, unless you've got a ring of steel around that park and block the view for quite a number of fans, there isn't a lot you can do to prevent it.

"We always knew it was going to be a feisty game - that's football.

"There is nothing that justifies someone going onto a pitch and physically attacking Neil Lennon or anybody else - that's criminal behaviour, it is nothing to do with football.

"Whatever else you say about Neil Lennon's behaviour, that's football, this is a criminal act. You can't compare the two."

Lennon's assistant Johan Mjallby and Hearts boss Jim Jefferies said they would not blame him from walking away from the game in Scotland.

Mjallby said: "He is a strong character, he has coped with much. The backroom staff are desperate for him to continue but no-one could blame him if he decided not to.

"I would never blame him whatever he does. I'm shocked and Neil must be even more afraid. What if he (the supporter) had something in his hand?

"But it is too early to say how Neil will react. I am shocked myself, I see it on television all over the world but I haven't seen it myself.

"We all have to look into this, a manager should be secure inside a football ground."

Jefferies also believes Lennon might get fed up with the game if the problems continue.

He said: "For what he has had to contend with, I wouldn't blame him for walking away."

Meanwhile, two men were being held by police in connection with an investigation into parcel bombs sent to Lennon and to two high-profile supporters of the club.

Two bombs were sent to Lennon and one each to lawyer Paul McBride QC and former MSP Trish Godman.

The men, aged 41 and 43, were detained under the Explosives Substances Act 1883 after officers raided a number of properties in Kilwinning, Ayrshire.

The police operation was launched at around 6am today.

Last month Strathclyde Police said the two packages sent to Lennon, and the two others, were "designed to cause real harm to the person who opened them".

A fifth suspect package, addressed to the offices of Cairde Na H'Eireann (Friends of Ireland) in Glasgow, was also intercepted by officers last month.

A 26-year-old man is due to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today in connection with the attempted attack on Lennon.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power