Date: 24th April 2011 at 5:30pm
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Walter Smith Celtic newsAngry Rangers boss Walter Smith has claimed that there has been a Celtic campaign to get decisions all season.

Smith was furious at the decision by Craig Thomson to award Celtic an 82nd minute penalty after Steven Davis and Anthony Stokes collided in the penalty box.

Early in the first half there was a similar incident involving Joe Ledley and Steven Whittaker with Smith bemused that the referee saw both incidents differently.

The Rangers said: “It’s not a penalty kick. But they got it and Allan McGregor saved it and Celtic will be happy now because their whole campaign this season has been the fact they have been asking for decisions.

“Well, they got one today and Allan McGregor saved it. That’s it. The whole of the season, all we have heard is that Celtic don’t get penalty kicks.

“They got one today and they tried to get another one as well and both of them were exactly the same in my mind – both of the players ran into the players and they weren’t penalties.”

Referring to the Ledley incident Smith added: “It’s dead easy to poke the ball by, the Celtic player runs into Steven Whittaker at the same time.

“I think that the referee got that one right and surprisingly the second one is exactly the same. I personally thought that Steven Davis caught him but when I saw it again I realised that he didn’t. And he was close to it, I didn’t think it was a penalty.”

Last month Smith also referred to a campaign from Celtic having an impact after watching the same referee, Thomson, change his mind and book Nikica Jelavic after initially awarding a penalty in the final of the Co-Operative Cup.

On that occasion the Rangers boss claimed: “It’s dangerous for a referee to do that, very dangerous. If it had been in the other penalty box, I don’t know.

“I just felt a wee bit aggrieved that Jelavic got booked because he gave a penalty and then he booked Jelavic.

“He must have thought himself there was something in the decision to give it in the first place.

“So it was strange, especially when there was a similar incident at the other end of the pitch.

“I would prefer to talk about winning rather than referees but I thought that was a very strange one.

“I said before when Celtic were mounting their campaign at the start of the season that if your team is good enough they will win.”

Neil Lennon saw today’s penalty decision differently and responded quickly to Smith’s claim that it shouldn’t have been given.

The Celtic boss said: “It is nonsense. Absolute nonsense. Have they not had penalties against us this season, one where the referee wasn’t even looking at it? Where is his argument there? It looked a penalty to me.

“People are telling me it is soft but I think the one with (Joe) Ledley in the first half could have been one, and the second one with (Anthony) Stokes, they are telling me there was contact although he did go down a bit dramatically.”


Joe Ledley hamstring fear.


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