NEIL LENNON admitted he had some “choice words” with his players following their dismal 2-1 loss to St Mirren at Parkhead last month.
The Celtic boss obviously got his message across judging by the two performances since the Saints clocked up their first league win in the east end of Glasgow in 31 years.
Lennon described the miserable showing against Jim Goodwin’s men as one “the lowest points” of his managerial career and let his players know his feelings.
Since that debacle, the Hoops have overcome Kilmarnock 4-0 at Rugby Park a week ago and followed that up with a 2-1 home victory over Motherwell at the weekend where they looked good until a 66th-minute deflection from Allan Campbell beyond a helpless Scott Bain produced a nerve-jangling finale.
The Irishman, speaking to the media ahead of tomorrow night’s encounter in Paisley, said: “The previous two performances have been very good.
“It is difficult to put my finger on the performance against St Mirren, we just didn’t seem to have that zip about us at all and we lacked concentration at times, as well.
“I had a few choice words, that was all. I told them I was bitterly disappointed.
“I haven’t had to do that many times in my second spell and I’ve had a good reaction so far.
“Obviously, the game has come around quickly and I am looking for a far better performance than we got at Celtic Park and build on the two recent performances.”
Lennon continued: “When I said I had some choice words, that was to the group, as a collective, not to any particular individual.
“We reminded them of their responsibilities and that the performance was unacceptable.
“The bottom line is that is my job and when they fall below the standards we set, you have to give them a jag now and again.”
Lennon also welcomed back winger James Forrest to training following his recovery from ankle surgery, having last played in September away to Riga.
He added: “Jamesy Forrest is back in training, so that’s a welcome boost to the squad, but obviously tomorrow night is too soon for him.
“Shane Duffy had a bit of a bug in the last couple of days, but trained today so he should be available for selection. Ryan Christie is fit and back in the squad, as well.”