English League 1

Corney troubled by Dickov exit

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Sun, 03 Feb 2013 16:51:00

Celtic boss Neil Lennon refused to be drawn into any controversy regarding a penalty awarded to his team in the 3-0 victory over Raith Rovers.

Raith defender Simon Mensing, who had earlier appeared to bundle over Kris Commons, was penalised for a trip on the same player in virtually the same place.

Commons netted the spot-kick much to Mensing's fury to set Celtic up for a comfortable Scottish Cup win with James Forrest and Charlie Mulgrew adding the other goals.

While Lennon was unsure on the award given to Celtic he did feel his team had a stronger appeal denied when Raith defender Eddie Malone seemed to handle in the box.

Lennon said: "I didn't get a great view of it and I might agree with Simon. I haven't seen it again but it looked soft, but the referee was right there.

"But we could have had a penalty for handball in the first half, I have seen penalties given for a lot less.

"But the way Kris took the penalty pleased me, the game opened up and I thought we looked great in the last 20 minutes."

Mensing said: "I thought the ref got that one wrong - he went down too easily and I know that for a fact. I'm really disappointed with it.

"There was minimal contact but Commons is clever. The ref just said he felt it was a definite penalty. I would argue until I'm blue in the face that it wasn't but it's not going to change anything."

Dickov called time on his two-and-a-half-year stay at Boundary Park on Sunday after the previous day's 3-1 defeat to Walsall left them teetering above the League One relegation zone.

It happened just a week after the Latics famously toppled Liverpool in the FA Cup and Corney, who admits Dickov could have left before that game, does not take pleasure from his manager's exit.

"It was close because even a week ago before the Liverpool game because we had lost seven games out of eight," Corney told BBC Radio Manchester.

"With all the managers I've had and all the departures I've had to endure this has definitely been the hardest.

"We had the game against Liverpool and arguably my best day being involved with the Latics last week and a week later we're parting company with the guy who gave me that day. It's so, so difficult.

"Paul phoned me up and he's gutted for the team. He said, 'It's just not fair and I don't want to take the club further down, clearly things aren't working and you've got to make a change, Simon'.

"How classy is that, to do that? I've had the problem of getting rid of five or six managers but I've never had one that's acted with the dignity that Paul's acted with."

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