Celtic skipper Scott Brown has talked down criticism from social media in a defiant defence of Neil Lennon.
In quotes presented by the Daily Record, Brown insisted that Celtic fans are backing the team and the manager during a spell of disappointing form.
We’re all together. We’re 100 per cent behind the manager and I think the fans are with us. Everyone’s got an opinion they can put on Twitter or put on banners. Social media now is extremely harmful to teams if you lose a couple of points.
You don’t read too much, don’t go on Instagram and Twitter too much. You just worry about what’s happening in the building and make sure everything stays in the building.
However, it’s not just social media – besides, during a pandemic, it’s not like there are a whole host of other options for fans to voice their concerns over performance and standards at the Club.
Yesterday’s demonstration by members of the Green Brigade outside Celtic Park show that dissent goes beyond some angry tweets.
Everyone is welcome to their own opinion. Speaking to a lot of the fans out and about, they’re all behind us.
Those are the fans we need to keep impressing and keep performing for, keep going out there and working hard for.
While it’d be nice to believe that Broony has met with unanimous support from fans out and about, who are hopefully keeping a safe distance and wearing a mask, by the way, I don’t know anyone who’d fancy giving an frank critique of Celtic’s recent displays to our captain himself.
I mean, I wouldn’t.
Brown went on:
Everyone’s playing for the manager. The manager’s been fantastic.
He tries to instil a winning mentality in everyone. It’s a long season and people have to remember that.
He’s right to back his boss, of course. Even in the most dire circumstances in world football, it’s relatively rare for a few disillusioning score-lines to lead to actual public revolt from players.
Hearts’ ‘Riccarton 3’ of Steven Pressley, Paul Hartley and Craig Gordon – all of whom ended up at Celtic Park – are the last big players I can remember who protested the direction of their club in a public way. That was 14 years ago, it just doesn’t happen often.
Also, the skipper makes a salient point. It is a long season. But for many in the Celtic support, the fundamental issues have been apparent for a while.
The Celtic supporters calling for change haven’t popped up out of nowhere. There’s legitimate concern that Celtic will squander the opportunity to make history.
With the amount of money fans have spent following Celtic, they’ve every right to speak.
Brown is a modern-day Celtic hero and it’s his prerogative to defend Neil Lennon during a period of unprecedented scrutiny for the manager.
Speaking about performances, Brown added:
Everyone keeps writing me off and I keep wanting to come back, show everyone. Most of the lads have got that mentality. Our aim is to show that we can perform better.
The performances have been up and down. We can’t keep using the same excuses.
He’s right – Brown has been written off far too often during his extended stay at Celtic, making pundits and sections of the support eat their words when he subsequently showed his true worth in the Hoops.
Of course he’s going to say that the team is together and that everyone is motivated inside Lennoxtown and Celtic Park.
But by addressing what’s been happening amongst the support, Brown has alluded to the players and staff being aware of the criticism, however justified.
As captain, it’s his job to bring the players up to his level and help to get us back on track.
A positive performance against Sparta Prague in tonight’s Europa League tie would be an excellent way to start.