Angry Neil Lennon blasts players ‘making waves’ to leave Celtic

Champions League exit to Ferencvaros sparks accusation of lack of commitment

Celtic manager Neil Lennon was frustrated at full-time. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS

Celtic manager Neil Lennon accused some of his players of lacking commitment to the club after they crashed out of the Champions League last night.

The Scottish champions lost 2-1 at home to Ferencvaros in their second qualifying round tie, their earliest exit from the tournament in 15 years.

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While Lennon accepted he must bear responsibility for a result which sees Celtic miss out on the £30 million participation in the group stage of Europe’s elite club competition for a third consecutive season, he believes some of his squad have been angling for a move away from the club for the past six months.

Asked if the costly elimination from the Champions League made it more likely some players could be sold during the current transfer window, Lennon said: “I have no idea on that one.

“But there are some players who may want to leave and have made inroads into that over the last six months or so.

“If they don’t want to be here, we have to do something about it.

“If they are making waves to leave the club they are obviously not committed. I’m putting it out there because it has been bugging me for a long time.”

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Celtic fell behind after seven minutes to a David Siger strike and, after Ryan Christie equalised eight minutes into the second half, Tokmac Nguen plundered a 75th-minute winner for Ferencvaros as the hosts were caught out on the counter attack.

Lennon’s side will now drop into Tuesday’s draw for the third qualifying round of the Europa League, in which two of the 20 second qualifying round losers from the champions path of the Champions League, will receive a bye into the play-off round of the Europa League.

“I’m angry, frustrated, disappointed,” said Lennon. “All those and more. I have to take the responsibility for this result. It’s the first time we’ve gone out so early for 15 years, so that’s on me.

“But there’s no excuse for this result. We have to apologise to the supporters and make the best of what’s left to us this season.”

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