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CELTIC CONFIDENTIAL

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NEIL LENNON admits details of why Celtic have endured such a diasastrous season will NOT be made public.

The Hoops boss insists there are reasons for the faltering form that has seen the champions drop 18 points off the pace in the historic bid for the tenth successive title while tumbling out of three competitions – the Champions League, Europa League and the Betfred League Cup- before the turn of the year.

However, the supporters are destined to be kept in the dark as to the reasons why the club have veered so inexplicably off track in a campaign that promised so much in the summer.

Lennon, who is preparing for the 6pm kick-off against Aberdeen at Parkhead this evening, said: “I don’t think it’s unfair or unrealistic, but we have had mitigating circumstances throughout the course of the campaign, some of which I can’t divulge publicly.

“But I’ve never shied away from the fact that it’s been massively disappointing and we could and should have performed better. That’s on me, my staff and the football department, as well.

“It’s not a popularity contest. It’s about playing good football and winning, bringing players to the club, developing them and selling them on, which is what I’ve done over the piece.

“The 10 was the Holy Grail, really, and it may be beyond us, but we won’t give it up just yet.”

Remarkably, Lennon, who has just signed Sheffield Wednesday’s Liam Shaw, as CQN reported earlier today, doesn’t reckon there will be frantic activity in the transfer market in the summer.

The 49-year-old Irishman said: “I don’t think it’s going to be a massive overhaul, although people over-react and say things to make the situation seem so dramatic.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do and that’s a challenge in itself, but it’s an exciting one. The problem we have with recruitment is that we can’t get out and watch players live and that’s a big problem.

“It’s slightly different from previous years where you’d go and watch someone and get a feel for him after 10-15 minutes. We’ve missed that this season and had to rely on video, word of mouth or looking at iScout and you don’t get that feel for them with that process.”

Players such as Odsonne Edouard, Kristoffer Ajer and Ryan Christie, who will be coming out of contract next season, have already been involved in transfer speculation linking them to moves in the summer.

Lennon, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “Things can change: mindsets can change and a lot of the players are looking very happy at the minute, albeit we’re well behind and it’s not been good enough.

“Some of them have been put through the wringer, getting abused and criticised.

“Again, I’m not going to talk about wholesale changes: we’ll take each individual on his own merits, the pros and cons and whether it represents good business keeping them here.”

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Aberdeen this evening – only in your champion CQN.

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