NEIL LENNON has warned recruits to expect to run the gauntlet – because expectations are so high from Celtic fans.
The Hoops manager even remembers being BOOED for making a passback in a European semi-final against Boavista during the team’s run to the UEFA Cup Final in Seville in 2003.
Lennon does not blame the followers, who offer remarkable vocal support and backing for the players in every game, for venting their frustration as they urge their team towards victory.
And the Irishman made certain the summer’s new Bhoys had an idea of what was awaiting them in their new careers as Celts.
The Parkhead gaffer has spent almost £12million in bringing in Christopher Jullien, from Toulouse, Boli Bolingoli, from Rapid Vienna, Hatem Abd Elhamed, from Hapoel Be’er Sheva, and Luca Connell, from Bolton.
HIGH HOPES…Christopher Jullien in an air raid on the AIK goal.
Others are expected before the transfer deadline a week on Monday as the manager continues his first team squad rebuild after a summer of upheaval with stalwarts such as Kieran Tierney, Mikael Lustig, Dedryck Boyata and Emilio Izaguirre, among others, quitting the eight-in-a-row champions.
Reflecting on the 2-0 Europa League first leg play-off triumph over AIK Stockholm, the gaffer expressed satisfaction in the performances of Jullien and Bolingoli.
Lennon, speaking to the Evening Times, said: “The expectation here does take your breath away – more so than ever.
“I have noticed a discernible change since I came back and I don’t know how you can prepare a player for that. Especially when you come from a different country, a different tempo of play and a different climate, as well.
“But they showed a bit of character on Thursday night which pleased me.
RUNAWAY…Boli Bolingoli races into attack.
“I have told them a few stories about my time as a player. It isn’t exclusive to this group. It has been like this for aeons.
“It wasn’t always a cakewalk for me, either, it wasn’t always a cakewalk even for the great players here. Everybody got a touch of it now and again.
“I brought that pass back up for them. I wasn’t too chuffed about the reaction to that one. I dealt with it by getting angry.
“Look, it happens. They don’t mean it. It is an instinctive reaction at times because they want the team to do well.
“While it is not nice, you just have to accept it sometimes and deal with it.”