'The lowest point': Neil Lennon questions Celtic players' professionalism after dire St Mirren loss
The 2-1 defeat intensified the pressure on Lennon again, whose position is under intense scrutiny once more. He called out his squad for their inability to show the appetite required in an appalling league campaign that see a 23-point chasm between them and a Rangers that have played only two games more.
"I think, yes, they are,” he said when asked if the players were letting him down, sound more at a loss than ever. “And they have done for quite a while this season. It’s difficult to turn it round. You are looking for motivation, ideas. We have tried different formations, 4-3-3, 3-5-2, 4-diamond-2. So we haven’t changed our philosophy or training programme. I just think the mind-set of some of the players has changed. If we play like that we are going to win nothing. If we approach the opposition like that we are going to win nothing.
If we play with no intensity and no will to win, just fulfilling a fixture we are not going to win everything.’
“I would say this is the lowest point of my management here, over the six years I have been manager [but] not really, no [does it change my mind on my future here]. This is a real test of adversity and you have got to show strength. I want to show strength but I need some support and performances from players.Too many of them have been insipid this season to say the least. Look, whatever walk of life you are in you need to have a form of professional pride. Especially at a club like this. To be fair to the players, over the years they have done. That has been sadly lacking this season. For whatever reason. Maybe the pressure of doing the ten has been too much for them. Maybe they have just got tired of winning, tired of playing in Scotland, tired of living in Scotland I don’t know. That;s a question you need to ask them.”
Celtic remain in talks with Preston over a deal for centre-back Ben Davies, following erroneous reports the player had signed a pre-contract. In the remaining days of the window they will attempt to agree a fee to bring in him immediately, but Lennon was circumspect about that outcome. “We’d like that to happen but again I can’t say for sure if that’s going to happen or not,” he said. “We are hoping to get some business done over the next day or two.”
A message from the Editor: Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers. If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.