Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton has leapt to the defence of Neil Lennon and insists complaints made over the Hibs head coach’s goal celebrations are ‘pathetic’.
Ex-Hoops midfielder Lennon angered the Rangers supporters when he cupped his ears and made a pumped arm gesture following Simon Murray’s equaliser in Saturday’s 3-2 victory at Ibrox.
At the time, Rangers assistant manager Helder Baptista even appeared to speak to police about his conduct.
Police Scotland have since confirmed that Lennon will face no action after receiving complaints over the incident, although a 54 year-old man was arrested in connection with alleged offensive and threatening social media comments towards the Hibs boss.
Former Rangers player Hugh Burns has branded Lennon’s behaviour as a ‘disgrace’ and claimed it could have ‘sparked a riot’, and even though the Scottish FA could still take action against Lennon, Sutton insists a mountain has been made out of a molehill.
He said: “The scenes, Neil Lennon – what did he really do that was that wrong?
“He is an emotional character, he is passionate, he celebrated a goal. Are we going to stop that now?
“Are we going to complain to police officers every time?
“Was there a gesture with his arm that was slightly unacceptable? Maybe, but did Graham Dorrans at Motherwell not make a similar gesture?
“Maybe that is taking it too far in some respects but come on, he didn’t swear at anybody and it’s not the worst thing that ever happened.
“It’s emotion and for people to complain about that is pathetic.
“By all accounts, the Rangers assistant manager complaining to the police. Maybe, maybe he’d be better concentrating on the way his team are playing at the moment than the way other managers are celebrating a goal and maybe, if that’s the case, Rangers may improve.”
Speaking to BT Sport, Sutton also insists that the Rangers fans should be more concerned about how their team is performing on the park under Pedro Caixinha rather than wasting their energy on opposition dugouts.
He said: “If I was a Rangers fan I wouldn’t worry about how Neil Lennon is celebrating, I would be worrying about why Kenny Miller played in central midfield in that second half.
“This is a manager that came in last season, admittedly under tough circumstances it has to be said, but it has to be said that he’s fluffed all the big games at Rangers, that’s what I would worry about.
“Going out to Progres (in the Europa League) the fourth best team in Luxembourg. What is worrying for me is the mentality, getting side-tracked.
“If you’re the Rangers board and the Rangers owner and you’re looking down at that reaction after the Hibs goal and Neil Lennon’s celebrations and the coaching staff worrying about what is going on on the other bench rather than what is going on organisation-wise in the Rangers team then – come on. Really!”