Former Celtic boss Davie Hay has claimed that Hoops defender Jozo Simunovic was “stupid” for getting sent-off in the 3-2 win against Rangers last week, but also blamed assistant referee Douglas Ross for his part in the dismissal.
Simunovic was sent-off in a second-half flashpoint for an elbow on Gers striker Alfredo Morelose, and Hay accepts that although the player had to be dismissed, Ross couldn’t wait to tell referee Willie Collum, who missed the incident, about what happened.
“I have to say two things about Jozo Simunovic’s red card at Ibrox: it was harsh but it was entirely stupid from him,” Hay said about the Bosnian defender, in his column in the Evening Times.
“I would also say that the linesman Douglas Ross took great delight the minute he saw the incident with his ‘red card! Red card!’ shouts. I don’t think he could wait to get the flag up and get him off.”
Simunovic is suspended for the Hoops’ tip to Fir Park to take on Motherwell on Sunday, and he may find it difficult to regain his place in the first-team if the likes of Marvin Compper or Jack Hendry do well whilst deputising for the 23-year-old.
Football Insider verdict
Hay’s comments certainly open a can of worms. Firstly, Simunovic was stupid to get sent-off. He may only be only 23-years-old, but he should know better than to throw an elbow at a player, even if it may not have connected completely with Morelos. As for the comments about the assistant referee, yes he did seem very eager to inform the referee about the decision but Simunovic shouldn’t have given him the opportunity in the first place. Simunovic is lucky in a way as if the Hoops had lost the game he would be getting far more criticism from supporters, but as the Hoops pulled off a famous win the incident has been all but forgotten about.
In other Celtic news, Andy Walker has tipped the Hoops to win a thriller against Motherwell on Sunday