Celtic boss Neil Lennon right to call for calm after Rangers defeat

By David Walton

December 29, 2019

Neil Lennon’s comments after Celtic’s 2-1 home loss to Rangers today won’t excite anyone, but he’s spot on to urge for calmness.

The Hoops boss seemed philosophical post-match as he refused to release both barrels on his team. Celtic were undone thanks to goals from Ryan Kent and Nikola Katic. Odsonne Edouard equalised before half-time, but we never looked like winning the contest.

As a result, our lead at the top of the table has been cut to two points, and we’ve also played a game more. Given the prize that was on offer today, it would be easy to lose all perspective.

Neil Lennon has brought some realism to his post-match comments (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

However, speaking to Celtic TV, Lenny made the following comments post-match:

“We’ve had nine games this month, the players are running on fumes. So we’re probably in the same position we were in this time last year. We need to give them a bit of a rest.

“We’ll do some good work in January and come again. There’s no panic. We just put on a sensational run of games and wins, so whilst I was bitterly disappointed to lose this fixture, it can happen sometimes.”

Time to acknowledge the title-challenge, but Lennon is spot on

Rangers look serious this season. There’s no point in denying it. They’re a good side who have been the better team against us on two separate occasions this month.

Lennon lost only his second match to Gerrard in seven managerial duels (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

So long as we’re willing to accept that, it’s easier to appreciate Lennon’s comments. He’s right to say there should be no panic. This is football after all, games are won and lost. Let’s not forget that Rangers’ win today ended a nine-year wait for a win at Parkhead for them. It also snapped an 11-game winning streak of our own in the Premiership.

Therefore, you can hardly have a massive go at these players. This is a team that have secured the Betfred Cup and progressed to the last-32 of the Europa League via winning their group. They’ve beaten Rangers twice this season, with today being the only black spot on our record against them.

It’s not nice to admit, but Rangers have been on quite the run themselves. Them having the chance to eventually go top isn’t down to poor form on our part. We’ve only dropped eight points throughout the first half of the season. Hardly time to be pressing any panic buttons.

Lennon has urged there to be “no panic” (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It looks as though the title is going to be decided by these matches against Rangers, however. So far, we both have one win each in league duty. We next travel to Ibrox on March 15th, that contest has taken on extra importance after today’s result.

Today is a day for looking over our deficiencies, and as supporters we’re quite right to do so. But Lenny is bang on to send out the call for calm.