Celtic perhaps aren’t getting the praise they quite deserve under Neil Lennon for their defensive record.
So much of the question marks towards the Hoops interim boss regards our forward-play. Yesterday’s 3-0 win over Aberdeen was just the first time Celtic have scored three goals under Lennon in eight attempts.
But, the match itself was Lennon’s sixth clean sheet in eight games. Overall, Celtic have only managed to ship two goals under the interim manager.
It’s not as if Celtic have had an easy ride of it either. They’ve had to face Aberdeen twice, as well as Rangers at home and trips to Hearts and Hibernian away. There have been plenty of tough fixtures on the agenda since Lennon came into the door, and the defensive record throughout that has been sublime.
Clean sheets these days are almost taken for granted at Parkhead. Celtic went on an incredible run of eight consecutive domestic games without shipping a goal after returning from the Winter break.
And Lennon has managed to keep the positive defensive form going despite mainly facing sides in the top six.
Lack of goals has been frustrating
Just scoring 12 goals in those same eight games will still remain a frustration for many. Considering three came in one game yesterday against Aberdeen, we’ve hardly been free-scoring since Brendan Rodgers left.
But defensively, Celtic deserve a host of credit. This is especially impressive considering the Hoops have had to switch their defence around consistently. Dedryck Boyata, for example, was arguably the number one centre-back at the club before his injury.
Filip Benkovic and Jozo Simunovic have both featured at the heart of the defence since Lennon came in too. So to continue that fine defensive form without a settled back four is impressive. Lennon, at the very least, deserves credit for that.
Hopefully, we start seeing some goals flying in over the coming weeks at tough venues such as Easter Road and Ibrox. The defence will be tested there just as much as the front-line will.
But Celtic have shown under Lennon that they’re a tough nut to crack. It may not always be eye-pleasing, but the Northern Irishman remains unbeaten with just six games of the season remaining.