Neil Lennon appeals for Celtic support to stick with team after 3-3 draw at Aberdeen sparks further fan fury

Neil Lennon maintained that “absolutely” the Celtic support must stick with him and his team even as he cited “confidence” issues among the squad as their undoing in the damaging 3-3 draw away to Aberdeen.

The performance of Tom Rogic, seen here challenging Aberdeen's Lewis Ferguson, in his first start since March was a positive seized on by Neil Lennon following the damaging 3-3 draw at Pittodrie (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

The dropped points followed the concession of a 92nd minute penalty converted by Lewis Ferguson - his second success from the spot - after Celtic had twice recovered from going behind. It leaves them winless across three games this week. Moreover, following the 2-0 defeat to Rangers and the 3-1 loss against Milan, they have now shipped in eight goals in that short period.

Such calamities have increased calls from elements among the Celtic support for Lennon to go. However, the 49-year-old sought to douse such angry chatter ahead of the Europa League jaunt to Lille, and the Aberdeen rematch in next Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final.

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“There is a long, long way to go,” he said. “Play well and win, if we can, in Lille and it opens the group up again and then we have a semi final next week. The motivations are there and the deluge of games coming I think they could play their way into form and that’s the message we will be sending. We just need to get out of this sticky spell we are in at the minute. All teams have them and hopefully this is ours for the season and we will kick on from this.

“When you are a manager and you score three goals away from home you think you are going to win. There is a little bit of fragility with a few of them. They aren’t playing with a major amount of confidence. You just work away with them and just give them the belief that it turns. Listen, I have been a player myself. They all have little dips in form. In the main I was satisfied. I thought we were a little bit passive in the first-half in the final third, because we had control. The goal we gave away was very sloppy. But then the response in the second-half was tremendous. But eight goals in three games is not good enough.

“I think the players have had a tough week. They could have played better. We will improve. There is no question of that. I am confident of that. And we will get players back from covid and from injury. There is a long, long way to go. But we have to tidy up defensively. We are making too many individual mistakes and collective mistakes. That is not on the goalkeeper. I thought Bainy {Scott Bain] was very, very good today.”

Bain was in for the injured Vasilis Barkas, with Tom Rogic given his first start for seven months in one of the more encouraging developments for Celtic across the afternoon. “I thought he was great, I thought he was brilliant,” said Lennon. “I hope he stays fit because I thought he had a cracking game. I thought he played with real desire and hunger. There are a lot of positives, but you’re still here dropping points when really we should see the game through. It’s just that little bit different from last year and we need to turn it around, be it mentality or confidence.”

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