Former Norwich City assistant manager Jim Duffy ‘embarrassed’ by furious incident involving Hibs boss Neil Lennon
- Credit: PA
Jim Duffy has admitted he is 'embarrassed' by his involvement in a furious pitch-side fracas in the Scottish Championship last night.
The former Norwich City assistant manager, now boss of Greenock Morton, and Hibernian manager Neil Lennon were involved in an angry bout of pushing and shoving in the closing stages of a 0-0 draw between the promotion rivals.
Morton's Kudus Oyenuga was shown a red card in the third minute of added time in the second half, for a tackle on Jordan Foster in front of the dug-out which left former Celtic manager Lennon furious.
Hibs' Darren McGregor then squared up to Oyenuga and the striker went to the ground as if head-butted, leading to McGregor being sent off for violent conduct.
With players and coaches from both sides then getting stuck into a melee, referee Nick Walsh sent both Duffy and Lennon to the stands, as Hibs remained 10 points clear of second-placed Morton – with Norwich legend Grant Holt heading wide one of the games best chances for the leaders.
Duffy, who was assistant manager to Peter Grant at Carrow Road in 2007 and took caretaker charge for three games when Grant was dismissed, initially spoke about the incident after the game.
'It was a poor challenge from Kudus. It was dangerous, it was reckless, and I think the referee would have dealt with it,' the 57-year-old Glaswegian told Sky Sports.
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'He would have probably given a red card but unfortunately their bench reacted then our bench reacted – including myself. One or two things were said. It was a bit of a melee then the referee sent us both to the stands.
'It's something new to me. I've been in football a long time and I've never been sent to the stand before tonight.
'It's my first time but it's always good to lose your virginity, eventually. But there were no punches thrown. If I throw a punch you would know about it.'
Former Northern Ireland and Leicester midfielder Lennon was equally fired up after the match, saying: 'The guy tried to break my player's leg, then Darren McGregor goes over to him – and he feigns a headbutt, holding his face when Darren made no contact.
'The next thing I've got the Morton manager asking for a square go – fair enough, I won't back down, with their assistant manager, and their players coming at me.
'But it'll be 'bad old Lenny, it's Lenny's fault.' Rubbish! I reacted in the way any manager would. It was disgraceful and the Morton boy's behaviour was embarrassing.
'He tried to break my player's leg then got my captain sent off in an act of cowardice. I have to take that? No, sorry! No wonder I was angry.
'I'm not having that. He (Duffy) has come all the way from his technical area to mine. I didn't do anything but shout at his player, which I had every right to do. He would do the exact same thing.'
However Duffy, who left Norwich after three defeats as caretaker when Glenn Roeder was appointed in October 2007, has released a further statement in response to Lennon's version of events.
'Firstly, I would like to say that I watched the footage on television last night and, from my point of view, I was embarrassed when I saw my reaction,' he said.
'I am not going to get involved in a public debate with the Hibs manager, but I would state is that I categorically, 100 per cent did not ask for a 'square go' or use anything even remotely like that term.
'Yes, I acted immaturely – but I'm not 12 years old.'
Watch a video of the incident above.