Ireland v Cyprus is a crucial game for manager Trappatoni
Three points from the game against the Cypriots could virtually guarantee second place
“I think the referee has been influenced by the diving situation. I don’t need to look at it again, it happened right in front of me.
“It was unfortunate for Aiden. It was a poor decision and we are in all in disbelief. You have to put it into the context of the boy traveling 50 yards before the incident. He went to ground because he was knackered.
“Is it a dive? Never in a million years. A dive is when you try to influence the referee, you throw your arms up and so on.”
Hanlon also defended McGeady but insisted he made no contact with the Hoops player.
Celtic crashed out of the Champions League when they went down to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium last week –- and Gunners striker Eduardo went down like a lead balloon to earn a controversial penalty.
UEFA are taking disciplinary action against Eduardo after he won a first half penalty after a collision with Celtic ‘keeper Artur Boruc.
TV replays clearly showed Boruc made no contact at all with the Croatian striker, but Mowbray refused to get involved in the controversy after his side’s Euro exit.
The Celtic boss said, “I haven’t given it a second thought. I have seen the incident again but it doesn’t matter, we are out of the Champions League.”
The Europa League is the consolation prize for Celtic when they will face Hamburg, Hapoel Tel Aviv and Rapid Vienna in the group stages.
“When I said after the game against Arsenal that none of the teams in the Europa League would be as strong as them, that was a fair comment,” said Mowbray.
“We go into it hoping we can do well but we are very respectful of the teams that are in there.”
Celtic’s Irish defender Darren O’Dea has signed a new three-year contract with the Glasgow club but has also moved to Reading on loan until January.
South Korea international Ki Sung-yong has reportedly agreed a deal to join Celtic in the January transfer window while the club’s Italian midfielder Massimo Donati has returned home and signed for Bari on a four year deal.
Premier League Wigan have been linked with a loan deal for Scott McDonald.
Ireland's new kick
STEPHEN Ireland has finally given Giovanni Trapattoni and the nation’s World Cup dream the chop -– in favor of kick boxing!
Ireland has confirmed that he would rather practice martial arts than play for his country this weekend.
Instead of traveling to Cyprus on World Cup duty, Ireland has drawn up a grueling eight day fitness schedule at his kick boxing club.
The Manchester City midfielder was watched by Trapattoni against Wolves last week, but their stand-off will continue.
And both Trapattoni and the Irish fans can forget about an Ireland return ahead of next month’s concluding qualifiers against Italy and Montenegro.
“There is no change to the international situation,” said Ireland. “As far as I am concerned retiring was probably the best decision I ever made.
“I’m not thinking about going back to the squad. In the international break I will train every day. I have already planned eight days of working flat out.
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