Lennon thinks performances are getting better; still not having Celtic criticism

By David Walton

November 25, 2020

Neil Lennon has today staggeringly claimed that Celtic’s performances are getting better as he continues to refuse to be self-critical for the club’s recent form.

The Hoops boss was speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of the Europa League clash against Sparta Prague in the Czech Republic tomorrow night.

The pressure has been ramped up on Lennon after a host of poor performances over the past eight weeks. Defeats to Rangers, AC Milan, and Sparta Prague as well as more dropped points against Aberdeen, Lille, and Motherwell have seen the Hoops fail to build up any sort of momentum.

But Lennon again refused to take a look at his own displays as a manager, and instead tried to change the narrative and say that it was all just “hysteria”. Speaking at the presser, published by Celtic TV on their YouTube channel, Lennon said the following:

“The bottom line is we haven’t made that bad a start to the season in the league. We’ve lost one game, and I’ve touched on the draws, if they’d have been wins then we would’ve been sitting in a very good position. So compared to other seasons it’s not as bad a start as what people are making it out to be.

“I think we can play better, I think we can go on a run. There’s no evidence to suggest the contrary to that. I’ve got to put things into perspective here. I think there’s a lot of hysteria and a little bit of panic. I’ve got the perspective of we’re calm, there’s a long way to go.

“There have been improvements in the level of performance, there’s no question of that (in between the two games vs Sparta). There’s been an improvement around the place in terms of the atmosphere as well.”

Lennon’s been bashed enough, but he needs to start helping himself

I think the manager has been bashed enough in all honesty and we’ve gotten our points across firmly over the last few days since the Hibs game, but he needs to start helping himself.

Earlier, I discussed how the next day or two was massive for him. Not just in ensuring that the team get a result in Prague, but ensuring he impresses or at least comes across a tad more humble than he has done in recent press conferences. Tonight hasn’t been a success for him.

He can’t keep defending some of these performances. He’s comparing our start to last season, but that doesn’t matter. It’s our rivals who are setting the standard this season, and we are failing to match that same standard. You can’t point to last season or two years ago and think “ah well, we’re doing fine”.

Neil Lennon after Celtic vs Hibernian / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

In addition to that, talking about how if certain draws could’ve been wins. This is the kind of stuff we used to laugh at Mark Warburton and Pedro Caixinha for. The kind of nonsense you hit out with when your back is firmly against the wall. That’s now the case for Lennon, and it’s starting to show in his comments to the media.

We get he has to put on a brave face, and to be honest the press duties are a bit of a thankless task for him just now. Nobody is interested and not many want to hear from him. But statements like these just don’t help as they don’t reflect how the supporters are feeling. There’s a denial to them.

Regardless, let’s see how we do in Prague tomorrow night. Things are tough enough however without comments like these being thrown in the supporters’ face.

In other news, 67HailHail writer Euan Davidson has discussed what Lennon needs to do to get things back on track.