old firm derby

Miller hits out at ref over Old Firm penalty denial

February 16, 2009

Rangers striker Kenny Miller hit out at referee Calum Murray for failing to award him a second-half penalty during yesterday's goalless Old Firm derby against Celtic at Parkhead.

Murray, taking charge of his first Old Firm game, waved away spot-kick claims when Miller was felled by Hoops skipper Stephen McManus after the Ibrox striker had sliced a shot wide of the target.

Ibrox boss Walter Smith criticised Murray's decision after the game which saw the champions maintain their two-point lead over the Govan club at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

Miller claims Celtic players admitted the referee had got it wrong and the former Parkhead striker fears the decision could cost Rangers the title.

''I was never going to get that penalty because I got the shot away before big Mick (McManus) wiped me out - but that doesn't make it right,'' Miller told the Daily Record.

''If it had happened anywhere else on the pitch it would have been a foul. No question.

''Or if it had been the other way around and Mick had cleared it for a corner and I had slid in to him, it would have been a free-kick to Celtic.

''The referee saw it and he knew what had happened but he didn't want to make the decision because it was a penalty - that was the only decision for him to make.

''I confronted him on the park and told him he had got it wrong but he didn't want to know.

''He kept saying that I got my shot away but that's not the point.

''I even spoke to Gary Caldwell and Lee Naylor and they admitted that it would have been a free-kick if it had happened anywhere else on the pitch.

''It's so disappointing, especially because everything is so tight.

''These things don't just make the difference in terms of winning matches - they could have a big bearing on the entire title campaign.

''Decisions like this can mean so much and I'd hate to think we'll look back on it and wonder if it will cost us the league.''