Celtic interim manager Neil Lennon has lambasted his players for a poor display in the 0-0 Hibernian draw.
Celtic arrived at Easter Road knowing three points would take them to within one of the Premiership title. Victory today, and the league could’ve been wrapped up on Saturday at home to Kilmarnock. Instead, fans will have to wait until two weeks’ time at Pittodrie.
Of course, should Celtic seal three points against Kilmarnock, they could win the league should Rangers fail to beat Aberdeen.
But we all would’ve hoped that it could’ve been done next week. Lennon seems just as angry as any of us that that won’t be the case. And, speaking to Celtic TV post-match, the Northern Irishman was furious at his side’s performance.
“It was the exact same thing last year – we gave them all the warnings. We could’ve came here to win the league last year and got beat 2-1. We warned them about that complacency. I don’t know.
“Attitude or whatever it is, it’s not becoming of a Celtic team what I saw in the first 20-25 minutes. We had to have a word with them.
“Second half again the tempo wasn’t great, scruffy play in the final third with the final ball. We had chances, but then the last 20 minutes the game really opened up and we had some great opportunities. We should’ve won the game.”
So why was the obvious sub not made Neil?
Nothing Lennon has said here is wrong. Celtic were scruffy and inefficient going forward throughout the contest. We got into some good areas at different times of the match, but our final ball was often lacking.
The big question that will be on many people’s minds, however, is regarding Timothy Weah not being given a chance until the final 10 minutes.
The USA international has often proved to be a spark for the Hoops from the bench, and was so again today. Even in his short time on the pitch, he set up Celtic’s best chance with some clever footwork to set up Odsonne Edouard.
Instead, the non-effective Scott Sinclair was brought on for Jonny Hayes. That’s despite the fact that Weah was by far the more obvious choice to change the game. Sinclair again didn’t get into the game whatsoever and was a passenger in the final stages.
These are the decisions that will define Lennon’s reign at Parkhead. It was a blunder today and a poor performance overall. It’s good to know that Lennon can see that, but he surely can’t afford any more if he’s to convince people he’s the man to take Celtic forward.