Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers last night criticised "a poor demonstration of officiating" as St Mirren held the Parkhead side to a scoreless draw last night.

Rodgers' greatest source of irritation was the first-half dismissal of French midfielder Olivier Ntcham who was red-carded for a second bookable offence when he caught St Mirren's Stephen McGinn.

That was regarded as one of many poor calls in the game towards both sides, according to the Celtic manager. The Parkhead side could potentially go five points behind Hearts this afternoon should the Tynecastle side beat Motherwell.

Asked what his view was on the standard of referee Andrew Dallas' game, Rodgers was unequivocal with his criticism.

“Not very good, to be honest," he said.

“I never like to focus too much on the referees but I think for both teams I didn’t think any of the four officials were very good.

“I don’t know if it’s a mark of all the attention that’s around them. But there were lots of incidents the got wrong.

“The sending off for me is not a yellow card.

“If you watch it again, the first one is a booking and we take that. But before the second one there is an incident when Olivier makes contact with the ball and wins the ball, but the referee gives a free0-kick against us.

“Then when you see it in the corner Olivier is running across to block the ball up the line and the St Mirren player as he plays it is falling over. At the same time Olivier slides but doesn’t have contact with the player.

“So from that – and the fact it’s in the corner makes it lively – then the ref falls for it and he gets a second yellow.

“For me it wasn’t a second yellow or a sending off."

And Rodgers was critical of the decisions that came from all officials involved in the encounter. At one stage both he and St Mirren manager Oran Kearney were simultaneously irked with fourth official Nick Walsh, an indication of just how inept the performance was according to Rodgers.

“I don’t think there was a good one between them all this evening," he said. "Listen, it’s simple I don’t think they were good.

“I think we are speaking about them let’s people see there’s been indecision.

“There’s been a spotlight on the refs and I don’t want to increase that.

“But yeah – it was just a poor demonstration of officiating. I thought Tom Rogic fouled the St Mirren player but he got on the ball and ran away.

“Then Tom got booked for something ridiculous."

Meanwhile, Oran Kearney praised the spirit and endeavour shown by his side, with a particular pat on the back for Anton Ferdinand who made his debut for the Paisley side.

"I was a little bit surprised with how long we got out of Anton Ferdinand," said Kearney. "He only had a bit-part pre-season, but he has trained really well with us throughout the week.

"He hasn’t played a huge amount of football, but we were adamant that we had to get him into the team for this game. He showed flashes of what he’s all about. You could see his anticipation and how well he reads the game.

"He is a real organiser and you could see his experience with the way he helped all the other players around him. He was a real calming influence for us – worth his weight in gold.

"The players have shown their hand now. This is the standard they have set for themselves. It can sometimes take three or four weeks for a new group to really show their level and show what they can do.

"But they have gone and earned a point against the champions. That is the expectation now and the key thing is that we have to maintain this standard in the forthcoming weeks. I will do my bit, but the players also have to demand it from themselves."