Steven MacLean was keen not to be seen as a sore loser but after a feisty conclusion to yesterday’s Scottish Cup final, he made it clear that he believes Scott Brown was a poor winner.
At the end of a competitive final, which Celtic just edged thanks to an Odsonne Edouard double, the Parkhead captain sought out Uche Ikpeazu, getting right up in his face to roar his celebrations, and when they were separated he made sure that MacLean was also treated to his full-throttle antics.
Referee Willie Colum intervened, flashing a yellow card at the former Scotland midfielder but, while congratulating Brown on the honour of leading his men to a historic treble treble, he said the goading was no more than he expected.
“That’s Broony. He won’t change and I won’t change either. He will kick lumps out of me and I will kick lumps out of him, that’s what happens.
“I’ll see him again next season and we will probably kick lumps out of each other again.
“The celebrations, there was no need for it but that’s what he’s like. Him and Lustig, that’s what they do and it’s not the first time.
“It is what it is, I’m not going to sit here and slaughter them because they won the cup. Congratulations to them. It’s up to them what they do.”
In the build up to the match, the veteran striker had been eyeing up his third Scottish Cup winners’ medal but he was aware that the Gorgie side would have to defy the odds and the doubters to triumph. The fact they came closer than some imagined was little comfort, though, as he admitted the runners-up bauble was not necessarily one he will treasure.
“You can’t take anything from a game you don’t win - I feel like chucking the medal in the bin right now!
“It was harsh on us but that’s football and you don’t always get what you deserve.
“I thought we were excellent, we executed the game plan we have been working on for the last few weeks. The lads are devastated because we had them on the ropes and felt comfortable but then let in two poor goals from our point of view.
“The first one, I don’t think Hayes even meant to put the pass through to Edouard and then the second one wasn’t great either.
“I don’t know if it was a penalty or not, some of the lads have said he didn’t touch him but I couldn’t see if from where I was.
“We showed today we are a good side and it’s now up to us to go again next season, finish higher up the league and win some silverware.”