The 3-3 draw at Aberdeen on Sunday recalled such a scoreline for Celtic at Kilmarnock in October 2011. Recovering from three-goal deficit then proved the springboard for a struggling team and under-pressure Lennon to rampage to the first title in their current nine run. As he digested Commons’ stinging criticism of Duffy with dismay, the Celtic manager had cause to reflect on the contribution Commons, signed in January of that year, made to this pivotal championship.
“I looked at that [season], in particular because of what I saw from Kris Commons. I remember in Kris’s second season, he had hardly kicked a ball for Celtic,” said Lennon, Commons proving an integral figure to the club’s successes across his subsequent four seasons at Parkhead.
“Now he’s digging out players and personally calling them out, which I think is wrong. We all go through difficult times as players, be it at Celtic or anywhere else. Looking at that run [in 2011] we had three defeats before the Kilmarnock game and were well behind in the league. We managed to turn it around. This is nothing compared to that situation. I’m not missing the fact we are not in blistering form at the minute – I know that. But I think it will come. I think we will get better as the season goes on.”
Lennon who shares an agent with Commons, says he hasn’t been in touch with Commons over his comments. “No. I’m just very disappointed,” he said. “Very disappointed.”
The Celtic manager is entitled to be disappointed with the crazed reaction of his supporters to the three-game winless run. The obsession with a 10th straight title and four year honours’ monopoly makes it appear they no longer support but merely expect and demand - enragement their default to any setbacks. Not an assessment with which he concurs, though. “There has definitely been a sea change in the mentality, but I think in the main our supporters are fantastic,” Lennon said. “They probably are feeling it a bit this season compared to any other, but they give us fantastic support.”