NEIL Lennon tonight apologised to Celtic supporters after the Parkhead club crashed to a 1-0 defeat to their bottom-placed Premiership rivals Ross County in Dingwall.
The quadruple treble winners dominated the league match at the Global Energy Stadium – but they passed up a raft of scoring chances before conceding a goal at a 71st minute free-kick.
The loss meant the defending Scottish champions remained 18 points behind Rangers in the league table – and increased their city rivals’ chances of clinching the title at Celtic Park next month.
Asked if he had a message for Celtic fans afterwards, Lennon said: “I’m sorry. We let them down again. It’s not for the want of trying to win and we’re bitterly disappointed.
“It’s a strange one. It sort of encapsulates our season. We dominated the game and missed some unbelievable chances and then we can’t defend a set play for some reason. It’s a headscratcher, for sure. We were totally dominant.
“We won 5-0 up here [earlier in the season]and played nowhere near as well as we did here, but we got nothing for it. It’s a difficult one to stomach.”
Lennon added: “It’s a bump. We’re not learning from defending set plays. Ross County maybe had the ball in our box once or twice the whole second half and we have conceded a free header to the biggest guy in their team. We should be dealing with it.
“It’s been a bugbear and certainly a weakness of ours all season. I can’t change it now. Heading the ball is part of the game and defending set plays is part of the game and we haven’t done that anywhere near well enough this season.
“You can tell them ad nauseum on the training ground and you can set them up ad nauseum, but you have got to go and want to head a ball.
“I’m bitterly disappointed because they are good enough to learn. They maybe don’t want to get hurt or throw their body in the way of things. It’s not good enough.”