Hibs head coach Neil Lennon blasts officials following narrow Brondby loss



Hibs head coach Neil Lennon has criticised the performance of the match officials after watching his side fall to a narrow 1-0 defeat to Brondby in Thursday’s Europa League clash.

After Otso Virtanen gift-wrapped the only goal for Kamil Wilczek with a costly blunder after just 16 seconds, Lennon was furious when Jason Cummings’ was denied a ‘legitimate’ equaliser in the 31st minute after the striker was flagged for offside.

Lennon remonstrated with the Spanish officials before referee Juan Martinez Munueara dismissed the former Celtic boss from the dugout.

Lennon taking a seat in the directors’ box

Lennon said: “We had a legitimately perfect, brilliant goal disallowed. He’s onside and I was angry because, firstly, he got it wrong, and he wasn’t up with play.

“I remonstrated with the linesman and was sent off for no reason whatsoever.

“I didn’t think the referee had a good game, which is what I expected after looking at his record before the game. The relationship with the two linesmen was poor.

“I’ll have to speak to Leeann (Dempster) and see if we can appeal it because I want to appeal it, it’s just a piece of nonsense.

“It’s a double punishment. One, we got a perfectly good goal disallowed and then I’m sent to the stand for disagreeing for a decision that was wrong. It’s absolute nonsense.

“It’s the first time in Europe that I’ve been sent to the stand so I’m really irked by that.”

Hibs put Brondby under pressure for spells during the second qualifying round tie but lacked a cutting edge in the final third.

Lennon, however, admits he was encouraged by the display on his Hibs dugout debut.

He added: “I’ve got some good players here and they’re not going to come up against opposition like that in the Scottish Championship each week. But if they show that desire and will then we’ll be okay.

“The tie is in the balance but we know we have to go there and score.”

Speaking about Virtanen, Lennon said: “It was avoidable. But I’m not here to hang the kid out to dry. We recovered as a team very well.”