Hibs boss Neil Lennon angry at SFA disciplinary date, is bemused by Kudus Oyenuga decision, rates Jim Duffy as manager of the year – but refuses to say whether he will shake his hand



Hibs boss Neil Lennon has hit out at the Scottish FA after his disciplinary hearing was scheduled two days before the Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen.

And as the fall-out from last Wednesday’s fiery goal-less draw with Morton continues, Lennon is delighted at having defender Darren McGregor’s red card successfully reduced to a yellow following yesterday’s appeal.

But the Northern Irishman is still bemused as to why Ton striker Kudus Oyenuga, who was ordered off for a crunching tackle on Jordon Forster, will not face restropective action for what he described as feigning a heat-butt to get McGregor ordered off.

Lennon, Morton manager Jim Duffy and Ton assistant Craig McPherson have all been called to appear at Hampden on April 20 for their part in the heated injury-time scuffle.

And former Celtic boss Lennon plans to ask for a postponement to the hearing so he can be in the dugout for his side’s last four showdown against high-flying Aberdeen.

Lennon, whose side travel to Cappielow tomorrow, said: “I’m not happy with the date. I don’t understand why it can’t be done now, or on Monday or Tuesday.

“I will go and defend myself. I will look to get it delayed because if it’s on a Thursday before a semi final and they deem me guilty of something – whatever that is – then I miss the semi final.

“And I think that’s totally unfair. Bang out of order. Why is it delayed to the 20th? The players have been dealt with so why can’t we be dealt with?

“What more do they need to look at?

“Thursday’s is an important day to prepare the team. You could say that because we are playing a team who are in as good form as Celtic at the minute.

“The semi is very important for this club and if I’m not being allowed to do my job for something I feel unjustifiably punished for I will not be happy.”

Lennon admits he is still stunned that Morton striker Oyenuga will not be punished for his part in McGregor being sent-off.

Lennon added: “Darren’s is the right outcome as far as I am concerned.

“So what is the outcome then? Has he feigned the injury, has Darren head-butted him?

“Is it violent conduct, what is it? I still don’t know.

“What I was told is the SFA were clamping down on conning referees and feigning injury but it doesn’t seem to be the case.

“I’m not accusing this kid now because he’s been cleared but I know what I saw. So I think I need to go to Specsavers because I can’t see from two yards away.

“But I don’t want to dwell on it too long.

“Yes of course I’m pleased Darren got his red card rescinded. It’s totally justified. But there has to be questions asked about why he was sent off – and you guys have to ask the questions.

“The transparency is not there and I find it hard to comprehend. And you wonder why I get frustrated and you wonder why I get angry.”

Lennon and Duffy have fallen out over the melee but despite their differences, the Hibs head coach insists his Morton counterpart should be a candidate for Championship Manager of the Year, with Ton only 11 points adrift of the league leaders.

Lennon, who admitted that defender Paul Hanlon’s pelvic problem has again flared up, added: “They didn’t start the season well and we beat them handsomely but Jim has found a really good way of playing and whatever has gone on, ultimately, as a manager, you have to pay tribute to the job that he has done. 

“He has done a fantastic job and he would be a contender for manager of the year, as would, in this division, Peter Houston (Falkirk) and Steve Aitken at Dumbarton, allied to Brendan Rodgers (Celtic) and Derek McInnes (Aberdeen) in the top league.”

Asked if he will shake hands with Duffy before the game, Lennon replied: “Have you asked Jim that? You will have to wait and see.”