KILMARNOCK manager Kenny Shiels has sought to diffuse tension between himself and Neil Lennon after a war of words had broken out over the PFA Scotland shortlist.
• Kenny Shiels tells Neil Lennon to “lighten up as Kilmarnock manager downplayes feud
• Shiels had labelled Celtic “Paranoid FC” over their anger at PFA Scotland omission
Lennon, unhappy with the omission of Celtic players from the PFA Scotland shortlist - comprising of Leigh Griffiths, Niall McGinn, Michael Higdon and Andrew Shinnie - hit out at Shiels after the Kilmarnock boss called Celtic “Paranoid FC”.
Lennon returned fire by comparing Shiels to David Brent, the bumbling manager played by Ricky Gervais’ in sitcom The Office.
Sheils, attempting to downplay the feud by laughing off the “Trent” remark, said: “Unfortunately, Neil takes life too serious and he has to lighten up. “He is at a really good club. They need to be represented by dignity and class.
“I have always been frank and honest with everyone and sometimes you have to be critical of people.
“I like Neil and I have nothing against him. I am an avid supporter of him.
“It was a joke about Paranoid FC, but it seems I’ve hit a nerve.
“I’ve parised Celtic an awful lot this season. But if people haven’t got a sense of humour, I can’t give them one.
“I worry Neil thinks I have got something against Celtic - that’s not the case.
“Celtic are the best team in Scotland. I’m probably jealous of Neil. He is managing a fantastic club.
“He shouldn’t get annoyed at someone as insignificant as Mr Trent.”
He added: “Celtic have really good players and Kris Commons and Gary Hooper would probably have been in my four. But I don’t think we should be disrespectful to the four players who have been picked.
“Three of them scored at the weekend and confirmed they deserve it.”