MIKAEL Lustig hit back last night in the row over Celtic’s Betfred Cup final celebrations and denied goading Aberdeen teenager Lewis Ferguson shortly before the final whistle at Hampden on Sunday.

Dons captain Graeme Shinnie accused Lustig and Celtic captain Scott Brown of a “lack of class” for an incident sparked when the Swede appeared to make a beeline for Ferguson just seconds before referee Andrew Dallas called time on the first showpiece of the season.

But the Swedish international objected to that interpretation and insisted last that he had mistakenly thought the final whistle had already gone, and claiming his actions were aimed at Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes, with whom he spent a few minutes locked in discussion on the pitch afterwards. While the Swede apologised if some Pittodrie players felt they had been disrespected, he was utterly unapologetic about the Parkhead side demonstrating that they are capable of winning ugly.

“Shinnie thinks we lacked class?” said Lustig. “I don’t think so.

“I thought it was the final whistle,” he added. “I think their players thought I went to the young boy and maybe that is where the misunderstanding was. But there were still a few seconds to go.

“They said I went for the 19-year-old boy but I was screaming at McInnes because we had a little bit of banter at a throw in. It was banter and it was aimed at their manager.

“I don’t know if he [McInnes] bought that. We talked for a few minutes on the pitch after the game but the conversation had started maybe 20 minutes before that. I also went to Ryan [Christie] because he had scored a really good goal.”

These two teams have plenty of previous, with Brown aiming barbs at Shinnie through the media and the Aberdeen captain catching his Celtic counterpart with a bad tackle in a previous meeting between the teams at Celtic Park. Running the line at right back has brought Lustig into close contact with McInnes on more than one occasion.

“When you play on the wing then you are in front of the manager,” said the Swede. “Sometimes it is banter and sometimes the emotions run over and that is just football. It is nothing more than that.

“We play football and there are a lot of emotions. Sometimes you maybe are not happy about things after but, as I said, it is all down to emotions and I’m not going to run out there just to be a nice boy. If they feel a little bit sad about it then I apologise.

“It was a final and there was a trophy to win. We are never going to run out there and be best mates. For us at Celtic, it is all about winning. If we have to win ugly then we have shown we can do it.”

While Lustig admitted that Aberdeen had made things difficult for Celtic, he was correct to point out that better decision-making might have got more goals on quick breakaways. “It is brilliant to win another trophy and we just want to keep going,” said Lustig. “I think over the piece we were the better team, absolutely - we maybe should have scored more goals. We had a lot of chances 4v2 and 3v2 but we needed to show a bit more quality in those positions. Overall, we didn’t produce our best game but we did enough to win. All their players do a good job for their team and work really hard and they are always a tough team to beat but when we play the ball they can’t really get near us and we should have scored a few more goals.”

Lustig, who is out of contract this May, said he would be keen to stay on if a new deal could be arranged. "I am still under contract here so my full focus is on Celtic," he said. “I want to be here and we will see what happens. It is up to me and the board. I know what stands in the contract and we will see what happens.”

There is no time for Celtic to rest on their laurels, with a league match away to Motherwell tomorrow. “December is a really busy month with some big games," he said. “You have to recover and to go again.”