BY IAIN COLLIN – Capital City Press
Ross County number two Billy Dodds insists there is no doubt in his mind that Craig Gordon deserved a red card in Saturday’s clash between the sides.
Gordon felled former Celtic youngster Jackson Irvine halfway through the first-half of the Hoops’ 2-0 victory as they kicked off the new Premiership campaign at Parkhead.
The Scotland keeper raced from his goal and sent Jackson sprawling as the midfielder sought to take advantage of the open goal in behind.
With Virgil van Dijk striving to get back to help out, referee Willie Collum sparked controversy when he only booked the former Hearts and Sunderland number one, rather than send off the 32-year-old for ‘denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity’.
However, Dodds is adamant Gordon should have been dismissed.
Insisting his view was not coloured by his position with the Staggies, he said: “It’s nothing to do with Ross County. For me, honestly, there’s not a debate.
“There’s no goalkeeper in the goal and I know he’s knocked it a little bit wide, but is there a chance of a finish?
“There’s a great chance of a finish. If he hits the right strike, van Dijk does not get back.
“I don’t think that’s a good chance, I think that’s a great chance of scoring a goal.”
After losing first-half goals to Leigh Griffiths and Stefan Johansen, County recovered after the break to put up a fight against the champions.
However, Dodds admits Celtic’s victory is likely to be the first of many as they head for what he believes will be the certainty of a fifth consecutive Premiership title.
Asked if it was inevitable Celtic will win the league, he added to the BBC: “I think so. Aberdeen put in a great challenge last year but Celtic got off to a poor start and they still won the league by 17 points.
“It was a breath of fresh air, Aberdeen last year putting in that challenge, but with the budget and squad, it’s just going to be too much.”