SMITH

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - Post Match -

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.

to be

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.

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