Alan Archibald has jumped to the defence of Gary Fraser after the Thistle player smashed the ball into the Celtic support from close range.
Fortunately, and typical of his evening the ball didn’t strike any fans in the front stand but it certainly wasn’t for the lack of trying.
The incident happened close to the Thistle dug out but rather than take the Arsene Wenger option Archibald opted to defend his player.
Gary Fraser of @ThistleTweet idiotically leathering the ball into the main stand at Celtic park.
Thankfully no severe injury reported.
Important to remember Gary Fraser has previously served a 9 game suspension for violent conduct in an u-20s game.
Clearly intentional. Crazy. pic.twitter.com/2Lr1JS0bzU
— Paul Bovill (@paul_bovill) December 20, 2017
“He didn’t mean it,” the Thistle boss told The Sun. “He tries to hit the board out of frustration.
“He’s frustrated he didn’t start the game, then he’s taken a bad touch. I don’t think there was any malice in it; he’s not that type of lad.
“We’ll deal with it. He’s not done it deliberately. He’s tried to apologise there at the end.
“Nobody in their right mind would try and do that from so close, especially with the way he strikes the ball.
“There was no reason for it, nothing in it, it was just a heavy touch and frustration he never started the match either.”
The Celtic fans and players certainly took a different view of the incident with the supporters booing and jeering Fraser afterwards while he clashed with Scott Brown and Kieran Tierney in the closing minutes.
Thistle’s defeat leaves them two points behind Ross County and four points short of Dundee at the foot of the table.
Celtic’s first game back after the winter break will be away to Thistle on Tuesday 23rd January.
Fraser was booked by referee Alan Muir for the incident.