FURIOUS Neil Lennon tore into his timid Celtic players after the humiliating 4-1 flop against Sparta Prague at Parkhead.
The Hoops have a single point from their first three games in Europa League Group H and their European adventure will almost certainly be over before Christmas.
A woefully-inept display saw the Czech Republic outfit pile on the misery as Lennon watched his bunglers go down at home for the third time in succession – a feat that last occurred THIRTY years ago.
Lukas Julis’ hat-trick and a late header from Ladislav Krejci had Celtic heading for the Euro exit as the visitors joined AC Milan in winning in Glasgow while another two points were lost in the draw in Lille last week. Nine goals have been conceded in three outings with an embarrassing early departure on the cards.
DUMBSTRUCK…Neil Lennon watches in silence.
Lennon, speaking to BT Sport, admitted: “First half, we started off okay, then we got really ragged with the ball and we’ve lost a goal from a set-play again, which is down to the lack of hunger, wanting to defend. It shouldn’t happen.
“It’s not even a great corner, we’re so lackadaisical and it summed up our night.
“I don’t know where that performance has come from and I can only apologise to the supporters, but the players know that’s totally unacceptable.
“We get it back to 2-1, we’re looking like we’re in the game, then we’ve had to chase it then we’ve given away a really poor third goal.
“If you can’t defend as a unit, then we’re going to concede goals. The hungrier team won – and that’s on the players.”
THE END…Neil Lennon and Sparta coach at the final whistle.
A seething Hoops gaffer continued: “I’ll have to change the coaching, we’ll have a sea change over the next couple of days and get back on point.
“We go from playing really well in the semi-final to an insipid performance. I defend the players to the hilt, but I can’t defend that.”
Lennon concedes the team’s European hopes are over and shifted his focus to Sunday’s Premiership clash with Motherwell at Fir Park.
He added: “It looks like Europe has gone now, so we have to concentrate on the league and the Cup competitions when they come around.
“But we need a definite reaction at the weekend.”