Celtic boss Neil Lennon claimed skipper Scott Brown was unlucky to be sent off moments from the end of the 1-0 home win over Motherwell which took the Hoops one point clear of Rangers at the Clydesdale Bank Premier League summit.
In a one-sided first half Paddy McCourt gave Celtic the lead with a drive from 16 yards but the night was spoiled in the closing moments when Brown, booked earlier in the second half for a foul on Chris Humphrey, picked up a second caution for a challenge on Steven Hammell which left the Fir Park player prostrate.
Lennon, who also saw Olivier Kapo and substitute Daryl Murphy go off injured, said: "If you see it again, I think Scott tried to pull out of the tackle and Hammell kicked him on the follow through. He is pulling away and he slipped so it was totally accidental and I am very disappointed with that decision - among many that I was disappointed with."
He added: "It's two yellow cards so I don't know if we can appeal or not but if you think I am going to talk about referees then you can forget it. You all saw the performance and you will have your opinions on it, I will keep mine to myself. Brown was immense. He is frustrated and it will be a blow to him and us."
Lennon is confident he has the squad to go to Ibrox for the Old Firm showdown against Rangers this weekend with confidence.
The Irishman said: "It was a big win for us and obviously we will have a few casualties for Sunday. We have lost Murphy but Georgios Samaras will be fit, he pulled out a virus and we still have attacking options in James Forrest, Niall McGinn, Anthony Stokes and obviously Paddy, who was fantastic.
"Kapo tweaked his hamstring, I thought he was excellent and we will see the extent of that injury. Beram Kayal got a fat lip but and we were worried he might need stitches but I think he will be okay."
Motherwell caretaker manager Gordon Young revealed Stuart McCall, was set to be officially named as the new Fir Park manager on Monday morning, introduced himself to his new charges after the game.
He said: "Stuart came in and introduced himself after the game and reiterated what I said, that we were nervy in the first half but it was a pleasure in the second half and he is delighted to be working with that group of players.
"The players won't need any lifting. The longer the game went the more we grew in stature even thought we didn't start the game well. We seemed nervous but after half-time I felt we were certainly the better team."
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