Darren McGregor: Let common sense prevail at appeal

Darren McGregor applauds the Hibs fans at East End Park
Darren McGregor applauds the Hibs fans at East End Park
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Darren McGregor has called for common sense to prevail when his appeal is heard later this week against the red card he was shown amid the mayhem which descended at the end of Hibs’ match against Morton last Wednesday.

McGregor was sent off after confronting Cappielow forward Kudus Oyenuga after his reckless challenge had sent his Easter Road team-mate Jordon Forster crashing to the ground, leaving him with a shoulder injury which has put him out of action for a month.

Oyenuga fell to the ground, clutching his face as if McGregor had head-butted him and, although it appeared no contact had been made, referee Nick Walsh sent both players off while both Hibs boss Neil Lennon and his Morton counterpart Jim Duffy were sent to the stand.

Today McGregor said: “It’s still ongoing so I don’t want to dig too much into it. But it’s there for everyone to see and I hope a bit of common sense prevails.

“Everyone who know me knows I am not a nasty player and I would never try and attempt to hurt someone. There were tempers frayed, there were things done and decisions made. When the dust settles we will get a bit of clarity and we can move on.”

While Morton accepted Oyenuga’s punishment – he missed their defeat by Dumbarton which leaves Morton in third place in the Championship table 11 points behind Hibs before the club’s clash again in Greenock this Saturday – Hibs appealed McGregor’s red card, Lennon adamant the Cappielow player had been guilty of “an act of cowardice” in conning the referee.

McGregor, who was last shown a red card eight years ago when he played for Cowdenbeath, has looked again at the incident and said: “It’s out there so people can make their own judgment. I know I never did anything. I was protecting Jordon and trying to speak to the ref at the same time.

“I am just hoping with the benefit of hindsight it can get cleared up and we can move on.

“It’s football, you get on with it. It was a difference of opinion. These things happen. It’s a fully-charged, passionate game. It’s water under the bridge, there are five games left and we need to concentrate on them.”

Lennon, along with Duffy, is facing a potential touchline ban although the Hibs boss has vehemently denied doing anything wrong while insisting a number of occupants of the Morton dug-out were the instigators of the unseemly scenes.

McGregor said he has the full backing of his dressing-room. “Everyone knows what the manager is like. He is passionate, he’s for the players and he sticks by them.

“Come the end of the season when we have got it wrapped up, hopefully, people will see that his methods do work and they do motivate you. We’re right behind him and he’s right behind us.”

As for the possibility of Lennon being missing from the dug-out, McGregor said: “I’m sure even if he is there in the stand he’ll be there with his megaphone shouting at us. It’s doesn’t matter which way it goes, to be honest. He can speak for himself.

“I’m just happy to be in with a chance of winning the league with the club I supported as a boy.”