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‘BREAK-UPS, FALL-OUTS, ALL THAT NONSENSE’: LENNY ANSWERS BACK – AND ADMITS HIERARCHY SUPPORT

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NEIL LENNON insists he has the backing of the Celtic hierarchy as he hit back at over-the-top criticism following the team’s three-game winless run.

And the Hoops boss slammed the media for being “disrespectful” while having a go at former star Kris Commons for his damning remarks about Shane Duffy.

Lennon admits he is delighted to have Dermot Desmond, the club’s majority shareholder, and chief-executive Peter Lawwell by his side during a turbulent eight-day period that has seen the champions concede eight goals, fall six points behind in the pursruit of a historic tenth successive title, lose 2-0 to Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox outfit and kick off the Europa League Group H campaign with a 3-1 defeat from AC Milan while being held 3-3 by Aberdeen on Sunday.

But the Irishman knows he has the support of those in power at Parkhead and, speaking to the Daily Record, underlined that unity when he said: “Absolutely. I speak to Peter every day. We had a board meeting on Friday and that went pretty smoothly. I’m not out here on my own.

“I have got great support from Peter and the board, I have got great support from my backroom team who are really strong at the minute. That shows the inner strength we have here at the club.”

Defiant Lennon, who is adamant “there is no justification” in calls for his sacking, as CQN reported yesterday, added: “It’s nonsense. It’s completely over the top.

“You have got two newspapers running polls on whether I should be sacked. Where did that come from?

“I haven’t seen that in 20 years. It’s completely disrespectful to me. It is really poor.

“We go through a little spell and conspiracy theories come out about dressing room break-ups, fall outs, all that nonsense.

“All of a sudden there is this groundswell after a tough week. When we went into the international break, we had won eight games in a row and kept four clean sheets.

“What happened afterwards was the squad was disrupted and a little bit disjointed and we were playing good teams.

“Players are coming back, players are getting fitter. We have got a lot to look forward to. This knee-jerk reaction stuff? You need to get used to it.

“But it is well over the top. Some of our ex-players haven’t covered themselves in glory, either.”

Lennon’s reference came after former Scotland international midfielder and ex-fans’ favourite Commons, who left the club in 2017, savaged central defender Duffy and labelled the Republic of Ireland international rank rotten.

The boss added: “Players getting singled out and abused, it is absolutely shocking.

“If that’s the way of the modern world. I am glad I am not a player any more.

“I am not happy with the treatment he is getting from certain quarters. I think it is hysterical. Comments that he is rank rotten and he is a bombscare. I find that ridiculous.

“I looked at that, in particular, because of what I saw from Kris Commons.

“I remember in Kris’s second season, he had hardly kicked a ball for Celtic that year. Now he’s digging out players and personally calling them out, which I think is wrong.”

Lennon has come through rocky periods before as Celtic gaffer and still managed to deliver five titles to add to his five championships as a player.

He will shift his focus from the Premiership to the Europa League tomorrow night as he aims to gets the Europa bid back on track against Ligue 1 leaders Lille in France.

 
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