Celtic boss Neil Lennon displayed some fine man-management skills in the aftermath of the Hoops’ 1-1 draw with Rennes.
After the game, the Hoops boss could have criticised Kristoffer Ajer for his mistake which led to Rennes being awarded a penalty in the first-half.
However, Lennon was instead full of praise for the defender.
“It was outstanding”
“It’s just something Kris needs to work on a little bit, but the rest of his game again it was outstanding” Lennon said in an interview on Celtic’s YouTube channel.
Lennon did the right thing in praising the player, even though he made a mistake. It shows that the manager still backs Ajer to be one of his key men despite the error.
Those comments should give the player plenty of confidence. To know that your manager retains his confidence in you despite an error in judgement can only be good for the player.
One of the best players of the last 12 months
It is no surprise that Lennon is praising Ajer though. He has been one of Celtic’s best players in the last 12 months. He has made the centre-back position his own.
Ajer has also shown how valuable he can be in other positions, as he spent much of the early part of the season playing at right-back.
Despite Ajer’s error, Celtic’s performance in Rennes was an excellent one. The Hoops were well worth the draw, and could perhaps have even won the game.
One error by Ajer should not be allowed to take away from this current Celtic team’s growing maturity. Ajer will no doubt learn from this mistake, and it should make him a better player in the future.
Celtic seem to be building something quite special under Neil Lennon. The team has shown great potential in recent weeks, following the loss to Cluj in the Champions League.
Ajer could well be part of this Celtic team for a long time to come, which is why Lennon did the right thing in not criticising the player.