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‘NEIL IS IN BIG TROUBLE,’ REPEATS FORMER CELTIC STAR

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CELTIC boss Neil Lennon “is in big trouble”, despite the manager’s statement he is being backed by the club’s powerbrokers.

That’s the blunt warning from former Hoops goal hero Chris Sutton.

Lennon is taking ferocious flak with the team lurching through an unacceptable series of results that has seen them win only two games in their last nine outings.

At the same time, they have conceded 21 goals, been thrashed 4-1 home and away by an average Sparta Prague team and tumbled 11 points adrift of Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox outfit in the Premiership, although they have two matches in hand.

The holders step back onto the Betfred League Cup tightrope tomorrow afternoon at Parkhead when they kick off the defence of the trophy they have won over the last four seasons when they take on Ross County, a team they thrashed 5-0 in the league in September.

Lennon had a Zoom meeting with chief executive Peter Lawwell and majority shareholder Dermot Desmond yesterday in the aftermath of the shocker in the Czech Republic capital, as CQN reported.

The gaffer emerged from a lengthy summit to say he had the backing of the club’s Big Two and was now looking to get on with his job.

However, Sutton, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “Neil Lennon is extremely fortunate to have survived Prague.

“It was lamentable and it was embarrassing.

“Celtic can’t defend and you can’t defend Neil or the players. It was diabolical. Full stop.

“The buck stops with the boss. That never changes in football. The Europa League campaigns are a clear statement that Celtic are regressing and Neil carries that can.

“Ten In A Row has brought an additional hysteria this season. There is no getting away from that. It’s very important, but it really annoys me when people say Europe doesn’t matter.

“It does matter. It matters for the reputation of the club. And that reputation has taken an absolute battering over the past few weeks.”

Sutton added: “It gives me no pleasure to criticise the workings of a friend and a former team-mate, but you can’t disguise the truth.

“Neil is in big trouble. It’s staring everyone in the face. He can’t get things going, he can’t get his team to do basic stuff and he seems lost.

“His players are letting him down badly. Some of the individual performances and collective efforts have been appalling.

“This is a group of players who were defeating Lazio home and away last year to make the last 32. Eight of the Rome starters started in Prague.

“Neil might not be getting things right, but he’s not getting everything wrong, either. Whatever is happening with those boys, it’s making the manager’s job 100 times harder.”

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