NEIL LENNON expressed his “disappointment” over Odsonne Edouard’s lacklustre display in the last-gasp 2-0 win over St Johnstone in Perth yesterday.
The French ace rarely figured in the action and his only shot on goal was a mis-hit effort late in the first-half that was easily stopped by keeper Zander Clark.
Once again, Edouard was removed early from proceedings – as was the case in the recent games against St Mirren and FC Riga – when Lennon replaced him with Patryk Klimala just before the hour mark. The Pole repaid the manager for his confidence by rifling in the second goal after Leigh Griffiths had broken the deadlock in the 90th minute.
The former Paris Saint-Germain prospect, who cost the Hoops a club record £9million when he joined in June 2018, has been at the centre of intense transfer speculation throughout the summer and his form of late has dipped alarmingly, possibly as a consequence.
The signing deadline is 11pm this evening and the Parkhead gaffer is determined to fight off any last-minute bids for the 22-year-old talisman – and then he hopes the player will regain his focus.
Lennon admitted in his post-match interview: “Again, I was disappointed with his performance. He needs to settle down. Hopefully, after tomorrow he will.
“I can’t speculate, but I think it’s apparent it’s been affecting him, but I can’t think for him or put words in to his mouth.
“He’s a brilliant player, but we are just not seeing the best of him at the moment.
“Hopefully, he’ll calm down once the window shuts and come good for us.
“I think he has about three or four more gears to come. ”
Lennon even rested Edouard for the 3-2 win over Livingston at Parkhead last month, but his response has been fairly listless after starting the campaign with a fine hat-trick in the 5-1 Flag Day triumph over Hamilton Accies on August 2.
However, Edouard’s recent showings have been mystifying, including a lethargic penalty-kick miss in the 2-1 win over St Mirren in Paisley five matches ago where he once again failed to remain on the pitch for 90 minutes.