Neil Lennon has admitted that Ryan Christie deserved the red card he received from Willie Collum during Sunday’s defeat to Livingston, The Daily Record report.
The usually reliable attacking midfielder found himself chasing the ball and over extending himself in a challenge on Scott Robinson. With Christie’s studs up on Robinson’s shin, the referee had no choice but to give the player his marching orders.
Lennon obviously sees it as a pivotal moment in the game, feeling Celtic were doing well in the match prior to that moment.
Although recognising it’s not an aspect of Christie’s game he is known for, the manager is nonetheless not very impressed with the contribution of the Scotland international.
As quoted by The Daily Record, Lennon said: “I have no issue with the red card. It’s totally unlike him but he was late. It may look worse than it was in slow-motion but yeah, it’s a red card.
“I’m not happy about it and it cost us, but it’s not like Ryan.
“It’s possibly down to fatigue. They are human beings and they put a lot into the game on Thursday. Then you need to play a long time with 10 men, so that could have been a factor.
“We were comfortable early on in a difficult environment without really testing their goal. I felt we were in control until the red card.”
Christie will bounce back
Although undeniably letting his team down on Sunday, there’s no reason to worry about Christie or his status in the team. He will now miss matches through suspension, but he’ll likely be named in Lennon’s team as soon as possible.
Half of Christie’s game is all about closing down opponents and pressuring the ball. This time he got caught out, but it was perhaps inevitable given the graft he puts into his performances.
With 11 goals and five assists this season so far, he has arguably been our most important performer and a lapse in concentration against Livingston, not matter how costly the manager feels that was, does not erase that.
It’s a guarantee that the 24-year-old will bounce back and be as crucial as ever.