Neil Lennon reacts strongly in presser; "trying to find solutions" ahead of Milan clash

By Euan Davidson

December 2, 2020

Neil Lennon offered a passionate response to the BBC’s Jonathan Sutherland in today’s press conference.

Responding to a question about whether he still had the backing of the Celtic players, Lennon said:

“Why wouldn’t I?”

He went on:

“They’re going through a bad spell… players try too hard sometimes or lose a bit of confidence. I didn’t think there was a hell of a lot wrong with the performance. The body language of the players was good. They’re trying to find solutions as we all are.

“We have to end this run. We have to get back to being consistent.”

Ross County celebrate at Celtic Park / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Alarm bells

If Lennon didn’t see anything wrong with the performance of his team against Ross County, then he was presumably watching something else. Perhaps, highlights from last season.

All game long, Celtic looked tired, uninspired and unlikely to get a result. The passing was monotonous and chances came at a premium against a side who had half their team missing through injury.

Plenty of people did see something wrong with the performance, which led to ugly scenes outside Celtic Park. Players and staff were escorted out by police as hundreds of fans made their feelings about Lennon and the team very clear.


Neil Lennon and John Kennedy / (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

The board hold firm

Responding to an earlier question about his relationship between himself and the Celtic board:

“We’re not in great shape at the minute in terms of results and performances, but I’ve got a great relationship with them. It doesn’t count for anything if the results keep going the right way [sic], because they’ll have a decision to make, but we’re not near that point yet. They believe me and I believe in what we’re trying to do.”

There are plenty of people who would disagree with being “near that point”. For weeks, speculation has mounted about Lennon’s job. 2 wins in 10 games is not Celtic form; in fact it’s our worst home form since 1958.

Yet, Lawwell and Desmond have given constant reassurances to Neil Lennon.

Eddie Howe, Marco Silva, Gordon Strachan and Martin O’Neill have been heavily linked with the top job at Paradise. The noise around Lennon’s job has been not so much loud as deafening.

Even former team-mate Chris Sutton said that Lennon “can’t stay on”.

However, the board will not relent. If anything, the recent demonstration by supporters probably steeled Desmond’s resolve.

Lennon is probably keeping his job for the foreseeable. However, he must be entirely deluded if he continues to see nothing wrong with performances, when everyone else can. Alternatively, there is a united PR front between the board, players and staff to simply act dishonestly to fans.

Hard to say which option’s worse.