NEIL LENNON will have had better weeks in his time managing Celtic. The 4-3 defeat to Cluj in the Champions League last week was followed by Dunfermline, with the assistance of John Beaton, taking his side to extra time in the Betfred Cup and of course it remains All Quiet on the Transfer Front despite Peter Lawwell achieving his main summer target, selling home grown left back Kieran Tierney to Arsenal for £25million.
The Celtic support, it is fair to say, is unhappy at the moment and they have every right to feel this way. The news that another defender, new signing Elhamed, is an injury doubt for tomorrow’s Europa League qualifier against AIK Stockholm has just added fuel to the fire of a support angry at the club’s failure to tool the squad up for the challenges of the season. The Green Brigade’s Downsizing banner at the weekend summed it up perfectly.
The Champions League riches were carelessly tossed away last week and the worry among the support is that the lack of defenders at the club, coupled with injuries to the likes of Elhamed, Ajer and possibly Simunovic, could result in a full blown crisis if the Swedes, like the Romanians last week, take full advantage of Celtic’s self inflicted weaknesses.
“We are working to bring three or four players in before the window shuts,” the Celtic manager said this afternoon in an attempt to re-assure the support. The proof is in the pudding though and what is clear is that after the failure in the Champions League no new signings have been added for the Europa League Play off games against AIK.
Neil Lennon has a slightly different perspective on all of this though. We’ll post the You Tube video of today’s Media Conference with the manager when we have it. For now though let’s have a look at what he’s being saying after that hellish week.
“It’s not me that is creating the headlines or shouting out the criticism,” Neil Lennon said today at his Media Conference ahead of tomorrow’s Europa League Qualifier against AIK Stockholm, as reported in Daily Mail. “I’m very supportive of the players and was after Cluj and Dunfermline.”
“We’ve lost one game – I didn’t believe we deserved to and that’s the harsh realities of the game.
“We’re fine. We’re absolutely fine. It’s like everyone out there is head down. We’re not. We’re bullish and looking forward to the games.
“There has to be a sense of perspective. I can’t control that but there has been a little bit of hysteria at times. That is the environment you’re in in Glasgow sometimes.
“We’ve lost one game and scored three goals in it, so it’s not all doom and gloom.
“We have to be bullish about things and look forward. It’s a big disappointment to be out of the Champions League but the Europa League is a very good competition that hopefully we can prosper in.
“Obviously the players want to show they have some European pedigree. We have the makings of a very good team and I hope that manifests itself (tomorrow night).
“It’s important we get through. It gives us a gravitas, opens the season up and gives us European football to look forward to towards Christmas, so it’s an important couple of games.”
Also on The Celtic Star…
‘Absolute Soap Opera,’ Fans React to Lennon’s Elhamed Injury News…see HERE.
Celtic finally confirm latest signing Jonathan Afolabi…see HERE.
Celtic’s Meling Move? Rosenborg’s Champions League Play-off against Dinamo Zagreb, a Crucial Factor…see HERE.
Meling Move…see HERE.
‘That makes me smile,’ says Celtic Star, Cluj lose at home to Slavia Prague…see HERE.