A sizeable section of the turf on the main stand side is now noticeably patchy, but the Celtic manager believes there is no mystery, and no issues, over the recent degradation of the surface. It is a stance he takes even as the pitch now appears in poorer condition than when in 2018 then manager Brendan Rodgers convinced the club to invest £1.5million in a desso hybrid surface of the type common in the English Premier League.
Laid in the summer of 2018, further renovation work was carried out on it during the pandemic lockdown this year that meant no senior football being played between March and July. The club stated then that the new surface had drawn praise from visiting European teams across the 2019-20 season and that the result of the further improvements would be “an immaculate” playing surface.
Lennon believes a Scottish winter has put paid to that. However he maintains it need not adversely affect performances, even when Rodgers stated that his hope was the switch to a desso pitch would allow Celtic to play a “faster and better game more consistently” on home soil. “It’s just this time of year,” said Lennon of the scarred patches of turf that have caused alarm among sections of the club’s followers. “The weather’s inclement. But it’s not stopping us from playing the type of football we want to play. It’s maybe no different from other years. I’ve played on worse, put it that way.”