NEIL Lennon tonight stated he won’t quit as Celtic manager despite the Parkhead club being held to a 2-2 draw by an understrength Livingston side at the Tony Macaroni Arena.
Lennon returned to the dugout after spending 10 days in quarantine – but was unable to oversee a much-needed Premiership victory in the first of his side’s three games in hand.
The quadruple treble winners are now 20 points behind their city rivals Rangers in the league table with 16 games remaining.
However, the Northern Irishman, who has won just seven of his last 21 games in charge and none of the four matches he has had in 2021, vowed to remain in his role and try to turn Celtic’s fortunes around.
“I’m very conscientious about the work,” he said. “If the club need to make a decision they make a decision.
“You’re asking the wrong guy and I’m fed up answering it. Everyone seems interested in my job. I’ll be here until told otherwise. I won’t walk away, absolutely.
“We’ve lost two games in the league. Europe wasn’t good enough and we’re out of the league Cup. But we’re human beings and we haven’t played well for whatever reason.
“We can analyse it to death. But we’ve won five trophies out of six. Not bad.
“A month ago we won the treble. Maybe no fans has had an adverse effect, I don’t know. But they haven’t reached the levels of last season.
“I haven’t changed, philosophy hasn’t changed, but for some reason too many haven’t reached their levels.”
Lennon added: “Everyone is frustrated. We look to the next game and try to put wins together because the run isn’t good enough.
“Of course we can turn it around, but we’ve been rapped with what’s happened the last couple of weeks. The performance tonight wasn’t too shabby at all.
“We can’t keep dropping points. We’ve only lost two games and draws have been from winning positions. We’ve been scoring enough goals but tonight we conceded two very poor goals.
“There have been too many draws – seven draws have really hampered us. We were in a winning position and I’m disappointed we haven’t seen the game out. The conditions were difficult but should have been good enough.”
Lennon threw on Scott Brown when Livingston equalised in the second-half – but the Celtic captain got himself red carded shortly after replacing Ismaila Soro for a foul on Jaze Kabia.
“It’s disappointing,” he said. “He should know better. It was totally unnecessary. I’ll need to see it again to have an opinion but I’m told it’s a red. Ill discipline has cost us.”
Odsonne Edouard was left out of the Celtic squad for the Livingston match – sparking speculation the French striker was the player who had tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.
But Lennon stated Edouard had a knee injury and could return for the Premiership game against Hamilton at Parkhead next Wednesday night.