Celtic haven’t had an easy time of it since the international break.

Defeats to Rangers and AC Milan soured the mood of many Bhoys fans and the Sunday cherry on top, a draw against Aberdeen, did little to lighten the mood.

There have been calls for the manager to go, nonsense social media rumours and furious outbursts from Neil Lennon in his press conferences.

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Add in a bit of a divided support on the manager’s future, and it’s hardly a unified scene at the moment.

Regardless of what you think of the job Lennon is doing, the club have made it very clear that he’s going nowhere, for now, so all we can really do is cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Luckily, there are some reasons for optimism heading into another tough run of fixtures.

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Key players are on the mend

Lennon has been without several first-team players for weeks now, with stars such as Odsonne Edouard and Nir Bitton unavailable.

That duo has travelled with the squad to France and should play at least some part against Lille in the Europa League.

Even if they’re not ready for that one, they should be in contention to start against Aberdeen in Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final.

Bitton was one of our in-form defenders before the international break, and Edouard’s return speaks for itself given his ability.

 

Returning players such as Ryan Christie and Tom Rogic have added real spark to our last two performances and having more options is always welcome.

Lennon’s bullishness

The manager has cut a forlorn figure in the dugout recently.

Isolated, rarely seen to be communicating with his players and lacking the passion we know and love, some supporters have been worried about his body language.

Is he still up for the challenge? Why did he celebrate our third goal on Sunday?

He put most of those concerns to rest, for me, in his press conference on Tuesday when he came out swinging against his critics, rumour-mongers and media outlets that are enjoying his tough spell.

It was great to see that fire in his belly, and it hopefully bodes well for whatever is going on behind-the-scenes. I’m eager to see if his players play with increased vigour over our next two matches.

Leigh Griffiths scores vs Aberdeen

Celtic star Leigh Griffiths scores vs Aberdeen / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The players are showing fight, Lennon hasn’t lost them

The concept of ‘losing the dressing’ is something fans like to indulge in during difficult periods, especially after a heartless derby defeat to Rangers.

However, I’ve seen enough dig and heart from the players in our last two games to suggest that they are still playing for the manager.

We did superbly to come back against Aberdeen and, despite a lack of concentration, should have won it. The team would not have responded in that manner had they chucked it.

Likewise, behind against Milan on Thursday night, the performance did improve after half-time, and we managed to cause the Italians a few problems.

As long as we see this, we can have some sort of hope the situation will improve at Celtic.

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