Dundee boss Mark McGhee in classy post-Celtic comments; won't entertain penalty debate

By David Walton

February 20, 2022

Dundee manager Mark McGhee has taken the classy approach of not entertaining any penalty controversy regarding his team at Celtic Park this afternoon.

The Hoops won a ding-dong battle 3-2 at Parkhead this afternoon in a contest that certainly saw both teams impress in spells. McGhee’s men made the Hoops battle until the very end with a Giorgos Giakoumakis hat-trick ultimately winning the day for Ange Postecoglou and his side.

However, there was a worrying moment from a Celtic perspective in the dying seconds. The ball appeared to strike Jota’s hand in the penalty area as Dundee put one final ball into the box. Thankfully, nothing was given and Celtic got the points our play deserved.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

And in fairness to McGhee, he was in no mood to start whipping up any controversy either. Speaking post-match via BBC Scotland, the Dundee boss said: “I’ve seen it a dozen times. There was a handball, but whether it was a penalty or not, I’m not exactly sure technically what the rules are.

“I think the claim was it hit someone’s head then came back off his hand.

“But it’s of no relevance and it’s of no significance. We don’t care about that. We’re more interested in our own performance than we are about the referees.”

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Dundee boss right not to moan about Celtic penalty moment; his team got away with one too

Perhaps it was in the back of McGhee’s mind that his own team got away with one on Giakoumakis in the first half. Referee Gavin Duncan should’ve pointed to the spot in the first 45 to give the Hoops a much needed spot-kick opportunity. In the end, he decided not to, and perhaps that’s even influenced his decision at the death too.

But once again it’s all about decisions that went for Celtic. Yet again there’s barely any coverage of the penalty we should’ve gotten. Instead, it’s all about the ones we perhaps get away with. It’s nauseating at times.

That’s why you have to credit the likes of McGhee for dismissing the chance to create any controversy. He doesn’t feed the media frenzy, just like John McGlynn refused to last week. This is promising to see. Managers aren’t taking the chance to create a narrative that Celtic were fortunate, and it’s the kind of thing that will infuriate the media and have rival fans fuming.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

But let’s just call it what it was today – a performance full of character from Celtic. Fair play to McGhee and his Dundee side for making a real game of it too. That’s exactly the kind of performance that will have the Dens Park supporters returning to their stadium and backing them in their relegation push.

Celtic were asked a major title question today and they answered it in impressive fashion. You get games like this in title races. There’s no real logic as to why this can happen against the side sitting bottom of the division. But that’s just the nature of grinding out titles. The fact we continue to answer the call says a lot about these players.

Hopefully, it pushes us on to even greater heights in Europe come Thursday night. Bodo/Glimt are next up in the second leg of our Europa Conference League tie, and it’s imperative we show a better side to our game.

In other news, The one aspect of Celtic’s dramatic Dundee victory that’s left Ange Postecoglou frustrated