Neil Lennon asks for more time to turn Celtic around, but knows time may have run out


NEIL LENNON begged for an opportunity to get Celtic back on track, but after the disastrous loss to Ross County that knocked his side out of the Betfred Cup, he admitted his time could be up.

Celtic’s long streak of 35 unbeaten games in the domestic cup ended with a 2-0 loss to County, adding to the heat on the troubled Celtic boss after a run of only two wins from his last 10 games.

After the game, hundreds of fans gathered outside Celtic Park to demand the sacking of Lennon, and he now acknowledges that the club’s board could be facing a decision about his future. “Asked if he feared the axe, Lennon replied, “That’s not what I can answer.

But on Friday, I talked to Dermot (Desmond) and Peter (Lawwell) and we would like to find solutions to the problems we have. We do have those concerns as things stand today.

I can’t tell what decisions will or won’t be taken by the board.

Do I see myself as the guy who will be able to lead the team? Of course, indeed. In myself, I believe.

I’m not really going to harp on what I’ve done in the past. We’re in the moment and I know the fans’ and the club board’s standards. Right now, I’m not meeting those expectations, in the background, me and my staff.

It’s all right to tell, ‘We’re going to turn the corner.’ There’s no point in dreaming about it – because soon we have to do it with our behavior. Otherwise, for me, the landscape would very quickly change.

All of us are in the same boat. I hope I’m here to turn things around, and I want to do so as quickly as possible.

“But obviously the results aren’t helping those chances.”

Chants calling for his dismissal could be clearly heard from the protesting fans who had gathered at Celtic Way as Lennon entered the press room to fulfill his post-match duties.

“I don’t feel good about it, obviously,” Lennon said.

At the moment, we’re not in a strong moment and the game is a bit of a seasonal microcosm and a run we’ve had.

A penalty and a handball are symptomatic of our season. The opponent is given free goals.

“We dominated the game, but sometimes we missed a bit of consistency in the final third.

“Before the game, the body language and attitude of the players were fantastic.

“We just need to properly protect the penalty area.

The game is about both boxes, and in each of them, we weren’t good enough.

“In terms of their offensive play, Ross County didn’t have anything to do to win the game.

“We were really good at defending, but we missed the final ball.

Maybe some of the players at the moment lack trust, but after all, they are just human.

There are no lapses. They are a strong group and at the moment they suffer a little.

“I completely believe [that’s not good enough] and that’s what the players know.

I don’t know where it came from. After the game, I spoke to the players and said, “We went from offensive to passive.”

We may not have the luck we need, but I can’t keep coming up with reasons or excuses because with the Celtic crowd, it doesn’t go down well.

At the moment, I know it’s not good enough and I’m not going to sit here like a happy clapper and say, “It’s all positive, we can turn things around.”

“We know we have to work hard to achieve that.”


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