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Jim Goodwin: 'We need to start naming and shaming divers'

The St Mirren boss is still furious about a spot-kick his side conceded in their heavy defeat by Celtic.

An angry Jim Goodwin says it is time to name and shame Scottish football's divers.

The furious St Mirren boss is still fizzing over the penalty his side conceded during Wednesday night's 4-0 hammering by Celtic.

The Buddies' hopes of stunning the Hoops for the second time in 10 days were ruined when Neil Lennon's team got a crucial second goal from the spot after Ryan Flynn was adjudged to have fouled Greg Taylor.

But Goodwin says the Scotland left-back should be "embarrassed" by how easily he went down as he also pointed the finger at Hibernian winger Jamie Murphy.

The Saints manager said: "The penalty the other night was a joke. Ryan Flynn touches Greg Taylor's shoulder then pulls away very quickly. Then Greg Taylor's legs fall away beneath him.

"I can understand players if they are tripped or kicked falling over. I can't understand how players can fall over when someone touches their shoulder.

"People will say he's allowed the referee to make a decision. That's pathetic. It's not a reason to give a penalty.

"We've had similar against Hibs three games ago. It seems to be certain individuals who are very good at it and very clever.

"Not every little bit of contact in the area is a penalty.

"Hibs got a penalty the other day against Aberdeen and again it was the same player involved. It's just minimal contact.

"Unfortunately that's the way the game is going. I really think the game is taking a turn for the worse if we're going to stand giving penalties away for the slightest of contact in the box.

"We had a penalty awarded to us against Motherwell that was soft. But I'd rather we didn't get that kind of penalty because it's a very hard time now to be a defender as you just can't touch anyone.

"I'd be embarrassed if I was some of these players watching these incidents back. I'd really be cringing."

Goodwin says it is time Scottish football stumped up the money to bring in VAR – and called on the compliance officer to get tough on persistent offenders in the meantime.

"I think everybody involved in the game needs to take responsibility for it – managers, players and referees," he added.

"It's similar players winning these penalties all the time and referees need to wise up to it because they are having the wool pulled over their eyes on certain occasions.

"We need to start naming and shaming. It's as simple as that.

"The compliance officer needs to get involved more and suspensions need to be handed out to these individuals. And it needs to be consistent as that's the frustration for everyone in the game.

"The game is becoming a non-contact sport. We're going to end up like basketball in 10 years' time where no one will be allowed to make a tackle because you'll be so terrified in case you do anything.

"If the referees can't get these big decisions right then we maybe do need to think about VAR because quite simply they need some assistance."

Goodwin will be without key midfielder Jamie McGrath for Saturday's Aberdeen trip after he dislocated his shoulder.

The Buddies boss is now waiting to hear back if the Irishman will need surgery ruling him out of the rest of the campaign and, in another major blow, Goodwin admits striker Eamonn Brophy's campaign could be finished too.

He said: "Jamie has been one of our star players this season. We're still awaiting his scan results. The best case scenario is a couple of weeks of healing then we can try to strap it up and get to the end of the season then operate.

"But if it's severe damage done then it could be season over unfortunately.

"Eamonn has been trying to play on a fractured foot which has been causing him pain. I'm glad we've got to the bottom of it but I'd say that the season is probably over for him if I'm being honest.

"But Collin Quaner is expected back in training next week while Kristian Dennis' Achilles operation has gone really well. The surgeon's hopeful he could be back in six weeks."

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Celtic manager Neil Lennon pictured on January 2, 2021
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