"I can't defend it"; Neil Lennon finally runs out of Celtic excuses, hangs players out to dry, time is up

By John McGinley

November 21, 2020

Even Neil Lennon couldn’t defend his Celtic team in the wake of today’s draw at Easter Road.

Admitting that a draw against the Edinburgh side ‘probably isn’t enough’, the manager who has been coming up with excuses all season long finally ran out of them this evening.

That tells its own story about where all of this is heading.

Speaking to BBC Scotland, he said: “I don’t know if they’ve lost a bit of hunger.

“We need to get that back and quickly. I saw plenty of it in the last 20 minutes, but we gave ourselves too much to do to win the game.

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“The pressure will pile up if we keep getting results like that. If there’s any criticism of the performance today, I can’t defend it. We’ll all have to accept it.”

Accepting it is the tricky part for supporters when everything has been trending in this direction all season.

From Ferencvaros to Kilmarnock to Aberdeen and Rangers, not to mention Sparta Prague, fans’ outrage isn’t solely to do with today.

I wrote this time last month that Celtic needed change and that it would only come one of three ways; individual magic from the players, a tactical revolution from the manager, or coaching staff removal from the board.

Faith is essential, but there can only be faith when there are signs of progress and a bit of hope to cling on to. Otherwise, it’s that bad blind faith that generates enough complacency to see our season go up in smoke.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon / (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

I have no faith that the players or the coaching staff can turn this around, as things stand at the club, and so it leads to only one logical conclusion.

The sad reality is we are all now left biting our nails and hoping Rangers show a sign of weakness against Aberdeen tomorrow.

Lennon can throw his players under the bus all he wants, as he did today (BBC), nothing changes that fact. Nothing changes that we’re in this situation because of the manager and his coaching staff.

Brave decisions have to be made.