Celtic manager Neil Lennon felt the players need “a jag” on Saturday, following defeat.

The Bhoys suffered a humiliation at the weekend, with Jim Goodwin’s St. Mirren pillaging three points at Celtic Park [BBC]. Lennon is still holding on to his job, and refuses to resign. Instead, the ex-captain lays the blame at the door of his players.

Speaking to the Daily Record, Lennon said that the players “sort of needed a jag”. That’s a dressing room berate session, not a Coronavirus vaccine, although that might’ve been more useful this season.

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Craig Swan shared some interesting quotes from the Celtic boss, who denied his approach was risky:

“If it is and players don’t respond to that, I think that speaks more about the players themselves.

“If they’re honest with themselves, they know it’s not good enough.

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“Let’s not kid ourselves on. With what we’ve achieved over the past decade or so, we’ve fallen way short of the standards we set for the players and what the supporters expect as well. We can’t hide away from that. There has to be a positive reaction and if I don’t get that, that’s on the players.

“I’ve been pretty consistent with the way I’ve approached the job and the players since I came in. It’s very rarely I’ve lost my temper with them or hauled them over the coals.

“Every now and then they’ve sort of needed a jag. I felt on Saturday they needed a jag and they got it. I don’t think I was too over the top.”

Celtic Neil Lennon Shane Duffy

Celtic players like Shane Duffy look bereft of confidence / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic manager Neil Lennon winning no dressing room fans

We’ve talked before about Celtic boss Neil Lennon refusing to take the blame for the performances this season. Yes, ultimately, the players on the pitch need to be better.

 

However, like any club, it’s the job of the manager to motivate players. A Celtic boss should be inspiring his charges to take the game to the opposition. To have them feeling 10ft tall, like we’ve seen throughout this decade. If things go wrong, it’s on the manager, at the end of the day.

Lennon, for whatever reason, cannot concede that. Whenever anything goes wrong, like it did on Saturday, it’s everyone else’s fault.

Tactically, Neil Lennon has chopped and changed so often, leaving players unsettled and often out of position. There’ve been the bizarre calls, like having Tom Rogic lead the line against Livingston. The bizarre musical chairs substitutions against St. Mirren. Dropping the diamond when it was working. Etc, etc.

On the St. Mirren point; it’s hardly the players’ fault when they’re changing formation twice over 15 minutes. Edouard had Griffiths, nobody, then Albian Ajeti next to him. The duo have barely played together, and Ajeti is a different type of striker to Griffiths. It takes time to make that work, and can’t be manufactured on the fly.

Christie came in, Soro came off, and the midfield shape was all wrong. In goals, we have a revolving carousel. Who knows who’ll play tonight? It’s like a tombola.

These things aren’t the fault of the players. Lennon needs to address that, if he’s staying on. For whatever reason, that looks to be the case.

 

 

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