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AJER REJECTS ‘LACK OF CONFIDENCE’ CLAIMS

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KRISTOFFER AJER disagrees with Neil Lennon following the Celtic manager’s reference to the possibility of a lack of confidence in his squad.

The Hoops boss was talking after the 3-3 draw with Aberdeen at Pittodrie yesterday that saw the champions drop their fifth Premiership point out of six following last week’s 2-0 loss to Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side at Parkhead.

The defence have also shipped eight goals in three outings after AC Milan also won in the east end of Glasgow five days ago as they notched up a 3-1 success in the opening Europa League Group H encounter.

Lennon saw a dramatic fightback against the Dons scuppered when Derek McInnes’ men grabbed a leveller in stoppage-time with Lewis Ferguson’s second penalty-kick of the afternoon.

Ryan Christie had earlier scored from the spot to give the visitors a 3-2 lead in 77th minute following strikes from Callum McGregor and Leigh Griffiths in a topsy-turvy tussle in the north east.

Afterwards, Lennon talked to the media about his players needing “to turn it around, be it mentality or confidence.”

However, Norwegian international Ajer is convinced the players have the qualities and the desire to get back on track.

Asked if their confidence had been affected, the skyscraper defender, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “No, I don’t feel that. I feel really confident. This is a squad full of winners who are not happy when we don’t get three points.

“Obviously, we want to get back to winning games and, hopefully, we can do that soon.

“There have been a few tough games and we’ve not got the results we wanted, but we know how quickly things can turn around and we are looking forward to facing Lille on Thursday.”

On-loan Brighton centre-back Shane Duffy has been the target for criticism over the rocky three-game period, but Ajer insisted the players stick together when the going gets tough.

He added: “We attack as a team and we defend as a team. It’s easy for people to single out players, but this is a team and it works both ways.

“We scored three goals collectively and we also conceded three at the other end, including two penalties. It’s all a collective.

“We communicate great with each other. We all know our jobs and where to be on the pitch, so we don’t always have to talk to each other.

“You’ll hear guys like myself, Scott Brown and Callum McGregor out there, so it’s not a problem.”

STOPPAGE-TIME ANGUISH IN DEADLOCK

 
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