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LENNY’S REACTION TO HARTSON’S CALL TO QUIT: ‘IT MEANS NOTHING’

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NEIL LENNON has reacted to the call from former team-mate John Hartson that that it was time to go.

Asked about the plea from his ex-Parkhead colleague, the Celtic manager snapped: “It means NOTHING.

Hartson had said: “I think a change is needed. The time has come. there are 15 or 16 games still to go and it’s the perfect opportunity for the board to say: ‘We need to get this right’.

“They have to give another manager the opportunity to run the club now. The club need to change it, whether Neil goes now or goes at the end of the season.”

A bristling Lennon, speaking to the media at Lennoxtown, fired back: “John has an opinion, like more people on the periphery of the game. You either take it on board or you don’t.

“It has no impact on me. It means nothing.

“When he is praising me, it means nothing. When he’s talking about me losing my job or being removed from my job, it means nothing to me.

“John feels he has a job to do. Yeah, he could have rang me first and had a chat about it.

“But when you are on the media side – and I’ve been there myself – it’s an easy life.”

Lennon is preparing his players for another crucial Premiership outing at Livingston tomorrow night where they are looking for their first win of the new year at the fourth attempt after losing at Ibrox and drawing with Hibs and the West Lothian outfit at Parkhead.

The Irishman’s team are 21 points adrift with three games in hand and he said: “Well, we’ve got to win every game. It’s as simple as that. The players are capable of doing it.

“We were really going well, played well at Ibrox and were the better team.

“And then this (the coronavirus reaction) has happened. So, we just have to galvanise ourselves and go again.

“This season has been totally disrupted constantly. We’ve had very little room for momentum building.

“You had the Bolingoli incident at the start of the season, then you had four guys on international duty ruled out and that disrupted our preparations.

“And then we’ve had this, the whole fall-out which I think has been completely over the top.”

Asked about his available players, Lennon answered: “They’ll be fine for Wednesday. They trained really well today and I think they’re really motivated.

“I think they realise how much training means to them and being around each other at the club.

“There was a real vibrancy about training. It was great to see them all back together.”

It’s a massive game at Livi. It’s not been a great ground for us, but there is extra motivation for us now to obviously try and win the game.”

Questioned about the continued backing of the board, Lennon added: “Yes, they’re fully behind me. I’m in contact with Peter (Lawwell) daily.

“There has been no talk of any change or any difference to my position.

“I’ve always been appreciative of the support Peter and the board have given me. They’ve been absolutely wonderful.

“It’s only a month ago that we won the treble. Since I’ve come back, we’ve won five trophies in a row.

“That seems to have been forgotten very quickly by some people.

“It’s not an easy thing to do. I think I’m the first person ever to win the treble as a player and manager.

“So, I’m not saying the performances have been good this season. They haven’t. I’m not shying away from that.

“But, you know, we’re going through a difficult period. We’re going through a bit of adversity. And you need to be strong.

“I think I’m completely the right man for the job. I have the backing of the board – and the players, as well.

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