CELTIC manager Neil Lennon has threatened to offload some of his players if he feels they are guilty of complacency in completing the defence of the SPL title. Lennon was incensed as Celtic lost 2-1 to Motherwell with a performance he deemed as unacceptable.
Although his team remain 19 points clear at the top of the table with just nine games left to play, Lennon made no secret of his dismay on a night when he made five changes to his starting line-up. Left wholly unimpressed by the contributions of those who came into the side, he insisted they will not play for Celtic again if they believe the title is already won.
“If that’s the case then they won’t play for us,” said Lennon. “They won’t play for us again. They can go and find another club and I’ll play the kids.
“If they waste any game at this club, and I detect that in their play and it was apparent in some cases, that gives me a lot to think about. I’m pretty angry with some performances tonight.
“I am raging. I made changes with games coming up in mind but I still felt I put a strong team out. People keep coming to me and wanting to play. But I put them in and they didn’t play.
“It seems to me that if we leave Gary Hooper out of the team, then we suffer. We were very, very poor going forward in the first half with the amount of possession we had.
“Motherwell had one chance and scored. That happens. But if you are wasteful with chances, wasteful with possession and disrespectful of the ball, then that happens.
“We got a good goal to equalise, then dropped a clanger for their second. We then brought Hooper on and created more chances in the final 15 minutes than in the rest of the game.
“A pleasing aspect was James Forrest, I thought he was brilliant and back to his best. But as for some of them, they need to take a look at themselves. Maybe I do as well.”
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall savoured a crucial victory for his team in the race for runners-up, the success coming two years to the day since the Fir Park club’s last win over Celtic.
“I’m not sure if it was a lucky omen or not but it was a terrific victory and an important one,” he said. “As bad as we were at Ross County on Saturday, we were as good tonight. I don’t think we had a success against Ross County, but we didn’t have a failure against Celtic.
“I think most people would have had their money on Celtic going on to win after they equalised with 30 minutes to go.
“So it was great character from our lads after the setback. They responded with a terrific second goal. I’m really proud and delighted with the performance. It is a huge result in the grand scheme of things when you look at the other results.”