Callum McGregor has defended Scott Brown’s behaviour during Sunday’s 2-1 win over Rangers.
Red cards were issued to Alfredo Morelos and Andy Halliday, and retrospective action is being taken against Ryan Kent. All three are being punished for incidents involving the Celtic captain.
Some observers have criticised Brown for goading players and fans, but McGregor believes his team-mate’s actions were justified.
Speaking at the SEC in Glasgow where was helping to publicise The Celtic Festival, McGregor said: “I don’t think Scott did anything wrong.
“Tactical, mind games, whatever you want to call them, are part of football. He never actually did a lot wrong. The Morelos one, he runs across the path of him and he gets that reaction.
“People can say what they want about Scott Brown, that didn’t warrant the reaction it got.
“He was basically assaulted twice in the game, for a bit of mind games and a bit of tactics. That’s nothing for anyone to speak about Scott and his behaviour, it is obviously the other side.”
Although McGregor insisted there was “never a specific tactic” to wind Morelos up, he added that professional footballers “are not stupid”.
The Scotland international said: “I wouldn’t say it was in the game plan.
“But players are professional footballers, they understand what they see in other games and they are not stupid, they know how to win games.
“There are different ways of winning football matches and as I say, if you can provoke people or do things to get an advantage then it is fair game.
“You can see his (Morelos) record over the season. If people provoke him or try to get in his head or whatever then he is going to react.
“In a big game for us, we are always trying to get the edge, whether football-wise or tactical, you try to get any advantage you can to win these games because at the end of the day the only thing that matters is the result.”
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