NEIL LENNON insists his successor Ange Postecoglou needs to be given time to prove himself at Celtic.

The former Australian international manager only touched down in Scotland just over a month ago to begin his reign at Parkhead.

Another sickening Champions League exit was inflicted upon the club with FC Midtjylland joining AEK Athens, Cluj and Ferencvaros by becoming the fourth success team o dump the Hoops in the qualifying stages of Europe’s elite competition.

Postecoglou was forced to play an inexperienced back four against the Danes and the hopes of place in the third stage were obliterated when the leg-weary Celts conceded at the start of extra-time and could not respond.

DANISH DESPAIR…Ange Postecoglou looks on as Celtic make an early exit once again from the Champions League.

Flak is beginning to fly and the new gaffer has yet to sample a Premiership game with Hearts due at Tynecastle tomorrow night.

However, Lennon, who departed the club in February during a calamitous campaign, claims it is far too early to judge Postecoglou.

Reflecting on the painful Euro exit in midweek, the Irishman said: “I don’t think they were ready. Looking at the back four, they were very young in terms of the players they had at their disposal, so I think Ange needs time.

“I don’t think you can judge him until the end of the transfer window and, hopefully, there will be a few players in that he would like in the positions he wants.”

Postecoglou’s appointment was made after three months of speculation that former Bournemouth gaffer Eddie Howe was the priority target and, asked if the saga could have set the club back, Lennon, speaking to BBC Five Live, answered: “Possibly. They would have had a back-up plan if that eventuality occurred. It’s a slow process.

THE END IS NEAR…Neil Lennon has the look of a man who knows what is coming next.

“Deals are difficult to do, particularly at the minute. There’s not a lot of business being done, markets are quiet.

“There are players who have made it clear they want to go. One has already gone in Kris Ajer, the club did good business there.

“They brought in a Swedish centre-half. You’ve got James Forrest coming back in, Christopher Jullien, hopefully, won’t be far away, so, all of a sudden, you get a few big players back into the squad who were missing.

“I really don’t know how financially strong the club are, but they’re not in dire need or anything like that.

“Whether they threw all their eggs in one basket with Eddie Howe I can’t answer. I doubt it very much, but they’ll have had a contingency plan.

“There’s very smart people at the club and they’ve been so successful over the past decade. They took a sore one last year and they start with a blank canvas and look to rebuild again.”


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