Mohamed Elyounoussi: Neil Lennon can handle Celtic stick and fans only showing passion in protests

Celtic attacker Mohamed Elyounoussi is in no doubt that “tough guy” Neil Lennon can withstand the brickbats being aimed at him from all directions as the Parkhead side’s fortunes have nosedived.

Celtic's Mohamed Elyounoussi says team's quality is "absolutely still there" that will propel club to 10th title. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Celtic's Mohamed Elyounoussi says team's quality is "absolutely still there" that will propel club to 10th title. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

And the Norwegian is willing to forgive the club’s fans for violently turning on the club and its players during a ruinous run of two wins in 12 games. That is because he believes they are being driven by the same instincts that makes them such an invigorating support in successful times - which he believes will return with the club claiming an historic 10th straight title, despite currently trailing Rangers by 13 points.

“I feel bad for the maager, on personal terms,” said the 27-year-old Southampton loanee, who believes playing with freedom can help Celtic regain their confidence when facing Lille in the final Europa League encounter. “Of course, everyone is looking at him for everything but it’s a team sport. We as players can improve and we know we should have done better. We are all in this together. We win and we lose as a team.

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“Personally I feel for him as he is Mr Celtic. He’s been here for a long time as a player and now as a manager. He’s won a lot of things and is a legend here so I really feel for him as it must be hard for him when people are saying things. But in the end he’s a tough guy and he can handle it. I think he’s handling things really well and we as players are 100% behind him as well.

“Now the results aren’t there and I understand the fans are disappointed but in general we have everyone behind us. The fans are passionate and they should be, when you win then everything is great and it’s not when things are bad, and that’s how it should be. I’m really confident and really believe that we are going to turn things around and win the title in the end. [Our quality] is absolutely there. When you see the way we played in Lille [in going two up in the 2-2- draw] and at the start in Italy [going two up before losing 4-2 to AC Milan], everyone can see that it’s there. We just have to get back to that.”

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