For their “lazy” defensive work, CELTIC coach Neil Lennon scolded his players after his side lost two more points in Hibernian’s Premier League title chase.
After falling two goals behind at Easter Lane, the champions snatched a late draw. Lennon was angry at the way his side accepted those goals, in particular criticizing Captain Scott Brown for conceding an unnecessary penalty to give the lead to the Hibs.
Lennon now acknowledges that his men are unable to afford any more slip-ups on their way to a tenth title in succession.
“No, we can’t,” said Lennon. This team is capable of a good run, but they have to be mentally set for a week, a week out, and today it was clear that some of them were mentally shut down.
“We’re not doing the dirty stuff well enough, and when teams are highly motivated against us, we need to get rid of the sloppiness. We’re expected to respect that.
The two goals are too straightforward and then you owe yourself a lot to do. Until you’re blue in the face, you can talk about strategy and formations, but it’s the basic stuff. One, when the guy goes away, don’t give away the penalty, and two, either win the first header or chase the runner down and get a block.
“We were shot in the foot by ourselves. Scott made a decision that was very reckless and needless. The second target is a horrific one. They’re so lazy. It was a free header and we just let (Kevin) Nisbet shoot and didn’t chase the runner. It’s been so quick.
“We gave ourselves a mountain to climb and we did it. The attitude and quality in the last 20 minutes was outstanding, but that should be true for the 90 minutes.
“[The point] could be important if we progress, but I’m not in a celebratory mood at the moment. (Scott) Bain even saves the penalty and we’ve got two guys looking at it. Murphy is the first to respond.
“We need to get into a defensive mode. We’re not doing things nearly well enough. We have a weakness defensively that we have to eradicate.
“We still have a long way to go, but what I would like to see is a good performance and a good run. The attitude of some players needs to get better.”