Read in full: Frustrated Celtic boss Neil Lennon walks away from intense BBC interview on fiery presser

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Neil Lennon got frustrated during an interview with BBC reporter Kenny Macintyre following his furious presser midweek.

The Celtic boss fielded questions regarding his interview earlier this week but got fed-up discussing the explosive conference.

He claimed media outlets ‘got plenty of mileage’ after the initial interview and bemoaned McIntyre for asking further probing questions. To his credit, the Celtic boss did clarify a number of issues before eventually walking off to prepare for this evening’s Livingston clash.

Here you can read the transcription from BBC Scotland’s interview below.

KM – Neil you must be delighted to be back directly involved on a match day?

NL – Yeah I am looking forward to it. I have sort of been building up to this for a few weeks now and some of the players who are starting tonight have not played since the Rangers game and I think they are highly motivated to get out and play a game as well .

I was here last midweek. A very late call-off – the pitch looks in great nick. Are you happy with it?

Yeah and there is plenty of moisture on top that will take the dryness out of it. Hopefully we can get a bit of zip on it

You had quite the media conference on Monday. What reaction have you had to that?

From?

Any one from in the club, the fans?

Not really no. I am not on social media or anything like that so I covered everything that I wanted to say Kenny.

Do you stand by it?

Absolutely. I said everything I wanted to say on Monday. If you want to ask me about the game, fine. But there is no point dwelling on it. This is going to get mileage and run on and on if you keep biting at me.

Can I ask you one question? I think it has got to a serious level when we have the Deputy First Minister here talking about your allegations today saying it was absolutely appalling.

That is his opinion. It is his opinion. That’s the end of it.

Was it your representation on Monday or was it the club that you were representing? Did you have to run by Peter Lawwell what you said at that media conference on Monday?

Kenny, you are still asking me about the interview.

So you are not going to say any more about it?

No. You’ve had enough mileage out of it the last couple of days.

I just think when you come out all-guns-blazing which you did Neil and people have had a response. St Johnstone and Hamilton Accies not happy for example. Do you stand by that?

I am giving my opinion on what I saw. The protocols are in place as far as we are concerned are different standard from what other teams do. We’ve had to drive to the game tonight.

Are they wrong when they refute your allegations about the changing facilities you had at these football grounds?

In my opinion yeah.

So you stand by that?

Absolutely.

One final thing. Were you surprised what you said at that media conference that generated a lot of headlines on Monday didn’t appear on Celtic’s social media yet Scott Brown’s media conference yesterday did. As that an indication that the club weren’t’ happy?

Maybe. I don’t control the social media side of the club.

Was Peter Lawwell happy with what you said?

We’ve spoken about it and that will remain private.

In terms of your position at the club. You were asked about the review into your position on Monday and you said you had no update. Is that something you are concerned about? Will you be seeking answers in the next week or so?

No. I am just getting on with my job. I’ve got a game to think about tonight and I am looking forward to it.

Is it not uncertainty for you?

You are always uncertain in this job.

What are you expecting from this Livingston side this evening?

Yeah they are on a great run and have freshened the team up. Obviously they are thinking about the semi-final as well. Maybe they have players playing for places so as always with a Dave Martindale team. Highly motivated and difficult to get a result.

What about your players? How are they feeling?

Neil Lennon– I think there is a source of frustration. They want to take their frustrations out in the best way they can and that is getting out and playing football again.

How are you personally feeling? Everyone is struggling in this pandemic but someone like yourself, who is in the public arena – there is a lot of criticism come your way. How difficult have you found it?

I feel great. My ten days at home which I found really difficult but I feel great, bullish and looking forward to the rest of the season. It was great to get back to working to the players on a day-to-day basis and I am looking forward to getting down and doing what I am supposed to do which is managing the club.

You were bullish in a lot of areas in that media conference on Monday..

You are bringing it up again, Kenny.

Is it not important Neil in terms of the title race. People will say you are just being realistic that it may be beyond you now but a lot of people will say that is defeatist if you like?

Everything about my press conference was realistic. That is the way I speak to you guys all the time. If some people don’t like it. Fine.

What is your understanding of where you are at this club? What do you think you need to do to stay at this club?

Win football games.

Do you think you are one defeat away? I mean that was what I was talking about the review. The uncertainty you are working under must be tough?

I am not working under any uncertainty. Until I am told otherwise I will just do my job the best I can which I wasn’t able to do the last couple of week. Is that us yeah?

That is it, Jane. Neil Lennon has walked off.

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