FORMER Celtic defender Alan Stubbs revealed he saw so-called supporters insulting Neil Lennon and his players – BEFORE Sunday’s shock Betfred League Cup exit against Ross County at Parkhead.
A baying mob descended on the stadium after the holders, who had won the trophy over the previous four years, collapsed to their first domestic Cup defeat at the 36th hurdle.
The unruly scenes were captured on film as police were called with the situation coming close to getting completely out of hand.
Stubbs, who was one of the Hoops heroes who stopped Rangers from winning 10 in a row back in 1998, was working at the game as a pundit for Premier Sport who beamed the tie live.
The former Hibs boss, speaking to the Scottish Sun, said: “Even before the game, there were fans there for when the team bus arrived.
IT TAKES TWO…Alan Stubbs and Chris Sutton have been horrified at the treament of Neil Lennon.
“I saw a group of around 30 to 40 fans hurling abuse at the coaches and players on their way into the ground.
“Neil was getting it from some fans, with others singing Celtic songs and shouting: ‘Come on, show us your fight’.
“But after the game it was very different. I just found the whole thing quite sad.
“Celtic is a great club and the fans are generally fantastic – and Neil has been a great ambassador.
“I’d hate to see everything he’s done and achieved turn sour. It would be wrong if the first three months of this season overshadowed the last 10 years he’s had at Celtic.
“I’ve been his team-mate and I don’t want to see that for him, especially when you know the troubles he’s had.
“He’s had his ups and downs from a mental health point of view and this can’t be doing him any good. Overall, I just think he deserves better.”
IT TAKES TWO…Callum McGregor and Shane Duffy at the end of the shock loss.
The former central defender added: “When I was in my car after the game, I could feel the anger outside.
“I was in the TV compound waiting to leave with around 80 to 100 fans 10 yards away from me.
“The atmosphere was so volatile. It wasn’t like I was worried or anything like that, but the fans were clearly very unhappy.
“At one point I was thinking about getting out of my car and going back into the stadium until it all died down a bit.
“But a security guard suggested I nip out the back, because it was only going to get worse.
“I managed to get away at about 4.50pm, before it really started to escalate. But you could sense the anger.”
Lennon and his players will be back at the ground on Sunday when they take on St Johnstone three days after the meaningless Europa League encounter against AC Milan in the San Siro Stadium.
At this stage of the campaign, with eight games due this month – and five of them at home – it’s time for the supporters to rally round and get behind the team and play their part.