Celtic boss Neil Lennon tells wantaway stars to settle down and focus on 10-in-a-row bid

Lennon blasted his players after the midweek defeat to Ferencvaros

Celtic boss Neil Lennon with star striker Odsonne Edouard, who has been the subject of transfer speculation. Picture: SNS
Celtic boss Neil Lennon with star striker Odsonne Edouard, who has been the subject of transfer speculation. Picture: SNS

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has urged his want-away players to settle down and focus on the bid for 10 in a row.

The Parkhead boss threatened to rid the club of uncommitted players after they were knocked out of the Champions League qualifiers with a 2-1 defeat by Ferencvaros on Wednesday night, to leave them harbouring hopes only of Europa League football this season.

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This has led to speculation in the last couple of days that several first-team stars could be heading for the exit door.

Asked if he had any regrets about making his feelings known publicly, Lennon - whose side celebrated their ninth successive Premiership title win last season when the campaign was called early due to the coronavirus crisis - replied "not really" before, in a more conciliatory tone, calling for the players in question to re-focus.

He said: "We want them all here. We've made that pretty clear.

"We have a big year ahead of us. This is a difficult time of the year as you know, people are unsettled.

"We want them to settle down and do what's best for the club and that means winning the league and trying to make the best of what's left of the European campaign.

"I am not saying there is disharmony within the group but what I want is players who are with us and who really want be successful again this year.

"We suffered a blow. One of our objectives has gone but we have plenty of other objectives and we want them all here focused on them.

"We want them to do what they do best. They are great lads. I understand that sometimes there can be interest but this is a great club.

"I'm not saying there's been any agitation at all but sometimes you can lose a little bit of focus. You just want them to get back on it, and concentrate on the job that lies ahead.

"At the end of the day they are good players and once they realise what excitement and what we have in store this season, hopefully that will persuade them to knuckle down and really concentrate on the job at hand."

French striker Odsonne Edouard missed the Ferencvaros match with a thigh injury and will also sit out the Premiership match against Motherwell at Parkhead on Sunday.

Lennon said: "He won't be available for Sunday. I am pretty confident he will be fit for the Ross County game after the international break."

New signing David Turnbull, who arrived from Motherwell on Thursday, will be in the squad for the game against his former club.

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