Hamilton Academical manager Brian Rice has talked up the quality in the Celtic dressing room, but reportedly didn’t want to discuss Neil Lennon’s recent comments.
Lennon highlighted what he believed were a lack of social distancing protocols at New Douglas Park back in December. This was during Celtic’s 3-0 win in South Lanarkshire. The Hoops boss would also highlight St Johnstone for similar breaches (Daily Record).
Hamilton responded a day after Lennon aired his views (Glasgow Times). St Johnstone would then retort with a lengthy statement slamming the accusation. And the Daily Record has reported that Rice refused to discuss Lennon’s comments when speaking to the media yesterday.
He was, however, happy to big up Celtic’s quality. Speaking in comments published by the Record, Rice believes the Hoops will be at “full strength” by the time Accies visit Parkhead.
“By the time we play them they should be near enough full strength. We saw what Celtic were all about when they came here (on Boxing Day) and then they played really well against Rangers at new year (1-0 loss).
“They’ve been hit with the Covid issues since then, but they’ll be back to full strength when we play them. It will be difficult but we need to make sure we are organised and try and get something out of the game.
“The boys have been defending ever so well as a team recently and we need to keep that going. It will be difficult to do that at Celtic Park, but we are confident enough that we are in a good spell and we can keep it going.”
Brian Rice means well, but Celtic fans have no appetite for next Wednesday’s game
Fair play to Rice. Opposition managers bigging up Celtic quality is just about the only bit of praise we’re getting at the moment. And it’s not even deserved if truth be told.
But more concerningly, there’s a real lack of appetite for this one. No urgency from supporters to put last night’s 2-2 draw with Livingston behind them. No real fight anymore regarding 10-in-a-row.
This football club has sucked all of the faith right out of us. To do that in a season as important as this one? Wow, that takes some going, but the board have managed to do it.
Even if Celtic manage to overcome Hamilton at Parkhead (by the way, that’s by no means certain), it does nothing for us. A few wins won’t wipe away the absolute disaster that has been the 2020/21 campaign.
Plenty of people will be enjoying what’s happening in Glasgow’s East Ends. And no, not just the Rangers fans either. We can count ourselves lucky that many of our opposition managers aren’t keen to pile on the criticism either. Because whether it’s on the pitch or off of it, we deserve every bit that comes out way.
Come Wednesday night, we’ll all watch this Celtic team again because we still love the club. Because we live and breathe it and wouldn’t miss a game for the world. Could the higher-ups honestly say they feel the same?