Mowbray - McGeady's no cheat

Celtic boss defends winger after sending off for diving

McGeady: Not a cheat

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Tony Mowbray has jumped to the defence of Aiden McGeady after the Celtic star was sent off for diving in the 1-0 win at Hibernian.

McGeady collected a second yellow card just past the hour mark at Easter Road after going to ground as Paul Hanlon pulled out of a challenge.

The decision was made more significant given that it came at the end of a week in which Celtic had been victim of a diving incident involving Arsenal striker Eduardo, who won and scored a controversial penalty during the UEFA Champions League play-off match at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.

Mowbray rejected accusations that McGeady is a cheat and believes the Republic of Ireland international would not have been sent off if the Eduardo incident had not happened.

Influenced

The Celtic boss fumed: "If the Eduardo situation had not been blown up so big nationally, 99 times out of 100, maybe even 100 out of 100, it would never have been a yellow card.

"I think the referee has been influenced by the diving situation.

"I don't need to look at it again, it happened right in front of me.

"It was unfortunate for Aiden. It was a poor decision and we are all in disbelief.

"You have to put it into the context of the boy travelling 50 yards before the incident. He went to ground because he was knackered.

"He skipped past the first and second tackle and seen the third tackle. He has to ride tackles otherwise players like Aiden will never play football.

"Is it a dive? Never in a million years. A dive is when you try to influence the referee, you throw your arms up and so on."

He added: "I am not going to criticise the officials, but the linesman flagged for a foul for us.

"If you give yellow cards for that then you will never have any players left.

"Unfortunately we have suffered a double whammy, from Eduardo on Wednesday night and today."

Hanlon also denied McGeady was a cheat, but insists he made no contact with the Hoops player.

"He's not a cheat," the Hibees' left-back said. "I saw him running at me at a fair pace.

"I tried to get my body out of the way and maybe he lost his footing, but the referee saw it as a dive and you get a booking for diving these days so he had to go."