Livingston manager Gary Holt: Celtic's Ryan Christie showed no malice

By David Walton

October 7, 2019

Ryan Christie’s red card against Livingston continues to be the talking point of the weekend, but Livi boss Gary Holt has defended his intentions.

It didn’t look great from Christie at the time. He went in high on Scott Robinson with the studs showing. Unfortunately, Willie Collum was right to flash the red card, even if he did it so quickly that it nearly came before Christie’s challenge.

Unsurprisingly, Sky Sports pundit Kris Boyd was keen to let us all know it was “horrendous”. Boyd would then brush off Keaghan Jacobs’ two-footed lunge on Jonny Hayes because the game was effectively over.

However, Christie does, in fact, have a defender on his side in Holt. Speaking in the Scotsman, the Livi boss wasn’t keen to criticise the Celtic man. Instead, he simply said the challenge was mistimed.

“I haven’t seen it back but I think it’s just mistimed. I don’t think it was malicious. Back in my day it’s a great challenge!”

Nobody has any complaints with the red card

There hasn’t been anyone who has stated that the red card shouldn’t have been given. Now, it leaves Christie out for two Premiership games against Ross County and Aberdeen respectively.

However, it’s clear that Holt disagrees with Boyd that it was a “horrendous” challenge. But it wouldn’t be like the Rangers-supporting pundit to go overboard when it came to calling our matches, would it?

Ryan Christie will bounce back from this a stronger player (Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

As for that number 10 position, it opens up an intriguing question. How does Neil Lennon go about tackling it? The natural replacement is Tom Rogic, but he didn’t make the squad to face Livi yesterday.

If he is indeed struggling with an injury knock, that would be a huge individual blow for him. The alternative to that would either be pushing Callum McGregor into the position temporarily, or doing the same with Olivier Ntcham.

Could Olivier Ntcham see more minutes thanks to Christie’s red? (Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Ewan Henderson would perhaps have been another candidate, but he’s currently out on loan with Ross County. Hopefully, Rogic manages to shrug off whatever it is he’s picked up now.

As for Christie, the red card will be a blow for him. He’ll feel as though he’s let his team down massively. However, given the fact he’s been our star-man this season so far, Celtic fans must rally round him.