CELTIC’S legendary goalkeeper Pat Bonner reckons the struggling champions are defending like schoolboys.

The Hoops have conceded an unacceptable TWENTY-ONE goals in nine games as they have stuttered through a horrendous sequence of results.

Vasilis Barkas, the club’s most expensive shotstopper at the £4.5million he cost from AEK Athens in the summer, was axed after conceding five in two outings against Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side (0-2) and AC Milan (1-3).

Scott Bain, third in the pecking order last season behind Fraser Forster and Craig Gordon, took over and has managed one clean sheet in his seven matches in charge of the gloves – the 2-0 victory over Aberdeen in the delayed Scottish Cup semi-final – but has picked the ball 16 times in six outings against the Dons (3-3), Lille (2-2), Sparta Prague (1-4 and 1-4), Motherwell (4-1) and Hibs (2-2).

SINKING FEELING…Scott Bain after losing the third goal against Sparta Prague on Thursday.

Now Neil Lennon has a decision to make before the holders face Ross County in the opening defence of their Betfred League Cup at Parkhead tomorrow afternoon with a three o’clock kick-off.

Bonner, speaking in the Scottish Sun, said: “The big issue for Celtic right now is the defensive situation.

“Is it down to the ability of the players? Not just the defenders, but the guys in front of them and the guys up front. when they lose the ball?

“Is it about desire or mentality that Neil talks about? Or is tactical organisation?

“Right now it almost looks like schoolboy defending. Any team can take goals off them.

“Neil has criticised the players in the past and at other times has talked them up. He has tried everything?

“Is it working? No, it isn’t.”

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