Ryan Porteous yesterday refused to take the bait when pushed on the penalty Celtic received at Easter Road on Saturday.
The Hoops were given a spot-kick with the score at 2-0 to the Hibees as the game trickled into the final 10 minutes. The ball bounced around in the penalty area, and Paul McGinn was unfortunate as it bounced up and off his arm.
There were plenty of complaints from Hibs at the time, with their players surrounding the referee as they sensed it was a big moment in the game. Celtic would go on to slot home the penalty via Odsonne Edouard and then draw the game in added time through Diego Laxalt.
However, when pushed on the penalty decision, Hibs centre-back Porteous refused to have a dig at referee Bobby Madden or the Hoops. Instead, he had a pop at his own team for failing to see the game out.
As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Porteous said: “It was the referee’s decision and I thought Bobby Madden was good in the game.
“We can’t moan about decisions, as ultimately we are 2-0 up with 15 minutes to play and we should be seeing it out.
“When Celtic, or Rangers, come to Easter Road you need them to have a wee bit of an off day and luckily for us I think they did. From that position, you think three points are a must, but it wasn’t to be, even if before the game or at half-time a point would have been sufficient for us.”
Porteous shows class instead of taking the easy way out
This is top stuff from Porteous here, and he deserves credit for refusing to take the bait. It would’ve been extremely easy for him to just moan about how he felt the penalty award was unjust and try to spin it as the reason for Celtic’s comeback.
You have to respect players who instead look at their team’s own faults. Hibs crumbled under the power of Celtic’s late pressure, and Porteous hasn’t been shy to point the finger of blame at his own team for caving in.
As for the decision itself, it was unfortunate for Hibs, but not one they could truly have a pop at and say that it shouldn’t have been a penalty. McGinn simply should’ve cleared the ball, but was clearly struggling under the pressure of Odsonne Edouard.
Had it been given in the other box then you would’ve accepted it, even if some may have thought it was harsh. When the ball strikes a player’s arm as it did with McGinn’s then you can have no real complaints.
Even so, Hibs were still in a winning position at that point. If they were good enough then they would’ve seen the game out. However, Laxalt’s last-minute thunderbolt secured what was, overall, a deserved point for Neil Lennon’s men.
But fair play to Porteous for his approach here. He may at times be inconsistent on the pitch, but off of it, he hits all of the right notes.