go this season and try to finish in second place in the league, the best of the rest behind Celtic.
“Neil will really believe that is possible.
“He won’t be sitting now thinking that he will be fully satisfied if they finish in fifth, sixth or seventh place, that’s for sure.”
Mjallby looks for Lennon’s result every week, but also still has Celtic in his heart.
He is delighted to see them heading back into the Champions League again, having sampled that as a player and assistant with the club.
Mjallby said: “I watched the Celtic game against Astana on television in Sw e d e n on Wednesday night, and I was delighted for them to achieve such an emphatic victory.
But the job I’ve never gone for is being a referee.
There has been intense debate about the standard of officials in Scotland after three out of four red cards last weekend were rescinded on appeal.
Let’s get one thing straight. There is no bias being shown by referees.
To suggest that happens is absolutely absurd.
These guys take a huge professional and personal pride in their performances.
They also have every reason to want to excel on the pitch.
Present-day referees make very decent money and they know the chance to officiate in the Champions League and major international tournaments can come their way.
Having met a number of them, I know just how much it hurts them when mistakes are highlighted.
There’s no way they would deliberately embarrass themselves by giving a decision in favour of a team they support.
Mistakes have been made and we can see that when red cards are being overturned.
The problem referees have nowadays – and it happens all over the world – is the increased scrutiny they come under.
Referees take charge of top-flight games that are being covered by several cameras.
They only get one look at an incident and have to make a split-second decision.
Those of us watching at home get to watch a replay and, in most cases, can see if an error has been made.
When I was on UEFA and FIFA committees, I proposed that video replays should be looked at right away to help the referees.
At the time, people didn’t want that and said it wasn’t the way to go.
It’s now happening in some games and I believe it is the way forward.
There’s no doubt that John Beaton could have been helped during the Rangers v Hibs game last weekend if an official on the sideline had been looking at the footage.
All we need for this to happen is the willingness to put the technology in place.
There will be a financial cost, but that can surely be done in conjunction with the television companies.
Some people may have an issue with the time taken to look at incidents, but they will have to live with that if they want potentially game-changing decisions to be right at all times.
I feel the three types of incidents that should be looked at are goals scored, penalty-kick awards and sendings-off.
My proposal was that decisions be looked at if there was an appeal from one of the technical areas.
Both teams would be limited to two appeals in order to avoid frivolous claims.
I think the standard of refereeing is as good as it was when I was playing.
But the game is faster, every incident is caught on camera and there are more players cheating.
When I was on the pitch you “It allows Brendan Rodgers really exciting to look forward to pretended you weren’t hurt. Now and the players to go to the away in the next four months. it’s the opposite. leg and relax a little bit. “Hopefully, it goes on even Players go down without any
“Normally the second legs are longer than that period, whether contact and they’re very good at it. tense affairs and there is little room it is in the l ast 16 of the We were the first to bring in for e r r o r, but this is Champions League or the last 32 retrospective action at the SFA and different. Celtic can now look forof the Europa League. that has helped to some extent, but ward to the other teams they’ll face “They have plenty it still happens. in the Champions League proper. optimistic about. I had my disputes with referees
“Of course, the target will be to ” I also hope Leigh Griffiths when I was a player. improve on last season and not keeps improving. He deserves to But I never thought for a minute finish bottom of the section be on the Champions League that it was anything more than him once again. stage and he has the ability to do seeing the incident differently from “They had ame.toughsectionverywell. with Barcelona,W Manchester City “We also signed him for Celtic hen I was at the SFA, I used to and Borussia Monchengladbach. and I’m delighted he keeps have a laugh with top officials such
“I suppose they will not really producing on a regular basis.” as Hugh Dallas and John Fleming. mind the other three clubs they The Hoops’ first meeting with I’d tell them there must be get this time around, but it Hibs this season is scheduled for something wrong with the would be nice to get a so- called September 30. personality of people who ‘easier draw’. With Griffiths on fire, and volunteer to be referees.
“But, whatever happens, the Lennon in the dugout, that It’s a thankless task at times, but supporters have something should be interesting! we can’t do without them.
■ John Beaton sends off Rangers’ Ryan Jack but the red card was rescinded.