Hibs: Darren McGregor red downgraded, Neil Lennon feels 'vindicated'

Darren McGregor (second from left) was sent off at Easter Road
Darren McGregor (second from left) will be free to feature against Morton on Saturday

Hibernian head coach Neil Lennon feels "vindicated" after Darren McGregor's red card against Greenock Morton was downgraded to a yellow.

Lennon has yet to speak to Morton manager Jim Duffy following their confrontation at the end of the sides' 0-0 draw last week.

Both clubs, Lennon and Duffy as well as Morton assistant Craig McPherson have been charged by the Scottish FA.

"I'll defend it," Lennon said. "I'll go to the hearing."

And he added: "It's due for the 20th, why we can't do it now I don't know. It's not ideal for me that week, so we'll look to put it back if we can."

Tempers flared during stoppage time at Easter Road after Morton's Kudus Oyenuga was dismissed for a foul on McGregor's team-mate Jordon Forster.

McGregor was sent off for violent conduct but can now play against Morton on Saturday.

Oyenuga has not been the subject of any further action by the SFA's compliance officer.

"I don't think [McGregor] deserves any punishment," said Lennon, whose side lead the Scottish Championship.

Neil Lennon at Fir Park
Lennon attended Motherwell's 0-0 Premiership draw with Hamilton on Wednesday

"I feel vindicated. Having Darren on Saturday is very important. That's the third red card we've had rescinded this season, twice by the same referee, so I don't know if that's some kind of record.

"People say these things even themselves out, so hopefully we'll be playing against 10 men for the next three games.

"The compliance officer is not here to please me, he's here to do a job he thinks is fair. If he believes the evidence put in front of him isn't enough to justify [Oyenuga] being punished, you've got to accept that.

"You've also got the referee's report and he says he was 30, 40 yards away and I was two, but we move on."

The two sides meet again at Cappielow this weekend, but Lennon does not believe the events at the end of the last game will influence the players.

"It'll have an effect on the atmosphere, the supporters, but you've got two mostly decent sets of players, the majority try to play in the right way," the Hibs boss added.

"Morton are having a stellar season. I don't think what happened last week will have any relevance to what goes on on Saturday.

"We've had five red cards, and three rescinded, so that leaves two red cards - Jason Cummings for being silly a[against Dundee United in March] and Lewis Stevenson, probably the most honest pro in this league, for two yellow cards [against Queen of the South in September]. We pride ourselves on maintaining discipline.

"I've been under scrutiny since last Wednesday. It's been pretty hectic, but nothing I'm not used to. According to Jim [Duffy], he's not used to it, so it's all new for him.

"Morton's form at home has been fantastic. Saturday's different again and we know that two wins will more or less see us over the line, no matter what the other teams do."

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