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‘I’m not 12 years old’: Jim Duffy denies asking Neil Lennon for a ‘square go’ in heated clash between Morton and Hibs

Morton manager Jim Duffy and Hibernian manager Neil Lennon confront each other as a row breaks out before full-time (SNS Group)
Morton manager Jim Duffy and Hibernian manager Neil Lennon confront each other as a row breaks out before full-time (SNS Group)

MORTON boss Jim Duffy says he’s ’embarrassed’ by his reaction in a touchline row with Neil Lennon but denies asking the Hibs boss for a ‘square go’.

The Cappielow boss and Lennon are both likely to face SFA disciplinary action after the scenes late in the game between the Championship sides last night.

 

Lennon reacted angrily after Kudus Oyenuga put in a red-card tackle on Jordon Forster before going down holding his face when confronted by Darren McGregor, who was also sent off.

Duffy then confronted his opposite number and Lennon was held back as he tried to get to the Morton boss with a number of other backroom staff from both clubs involved in the melee.

Neil Lennon (L) vents his fury as Hibernian's Jordon Forster (R) lies injured after a tackle by Morton's Kudus Oyenuga (SNS Group)
Neil Lennon vents his fury as Hibernian’s Jordon Forster lies injured after a tackle by Morton’s Kudus Oyenuga (SNS Group)

The pair were sent to the stand in the closing stages of the goalless draw at Easter Road, which kept Hibs 10 points clear at the top of the table.

Referee Nick Walsh told Lennon he would be submitting a report on the incident but the former Celtic boss is adamant that he was not to blame.

“The guy tried to break his leg and then Darren McGregor goes over and he feigns a headbutt, goes down holding his face when Darren didn’t make any contact,” Lennon told reporters after the match.

“And then the next thing I’ve got the Morton manager asking for a square-go, which is fair enough, I’m not going to back down.

“Then I’ve got the assistant manager and the Morton players. But it will be ‘bad old Lenny, Lenny’s fault, Lenny started it, blah, blah, blah’, all that rubbish.

The heated scenes at Easter Road (SNS Group)
The heated scenes at Easter Road (SNS Group)

“I didn’t react in any other way that any other manager wouldn’t react to a tackle like that.

“It’s disgraceful, the boy’s behaviour was embarrassing. Not only has he tried to break my player’s leg, he has got my captain sent off as well, in an act of cowardice.

“And I have to take that? Sorry.”

In a statement issued on Morton’s website, Duffy said: “Firstly, I would like to say that I watched the footage on television last night and, from my point of view, I was embarrassed when I saw my reaction.

“I am not going to get involved in a public debate with the Hibs manager, but what I would state is that I categorically, 100 per cent did not ask for a ‘square go’ or use anything even remotely like that term.

“Yes, I acted immaturely – but I’m not 12 years old.”