"People were criticising me"; Neil Lennon feels vindicated on recent Celtic rant

By John McGinley

February 4, 2021

Celtic manager Neil Lennon feels vindicated after his recent rant on the first-team squad.

The Bhoys boss was furious with his team in the wake of defeat to St Mirren, calling their professionalism into question, criticising their mentality and suggesting some of them only want away from the club to earn more money.

However, Lennon feels like that was a necessary public blast. He’s now stating it was all by design to get a reaction out of his players ahead of the trip to Kilmarnock.

After a 4-0 victory at Rugby Park, he reckons he’s silenced those who criticised him for his comments.

As quoted by STV, he said: “I got the reaction I wanted. It was the polar opposite of what we produced on Saturday.

“People were criticising me for jagging the team but they needed the jag to be honest, and we got a great performance and a great result.

“The body language, their attacking play, the concentration, was so much better.

“That is more like us so we have to build on that from here on in.”

In fairness to the manager, the Celtic players were much-improved against Kilmarnock. They strolled to victory.

However, I can’t help but feel Lennon’s strong criticism represents more serious cracks at Celtic that the 4-0 result barely papers over.

There’s a severe disconnect between the coaching staff and the players right now. Some will blame the squad for that, but the responsibility falls with Lennon.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon feels vindicated for his recent Celtic rant / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

How many times have we heard that Celtic have something to build on this season? The consistency hasn’t come.

There’s no grand reason to think a corner has suddenly been turned because Lennon fired up his players this time.

Still, when you are under so much public scrutiny, it’s probably natural to defend yourself when something finally goes right.

In other news, this is the injury latest on Celtic winger James Forrest.