NEIL LENNON’S squad rebuild has been praised by Celtic legend Davie Hay who has told the club’s critics to calm down and stop panicking.

The club ambassador has seen his old side win their four Champions League qualifiers while scoring 12 goals and conceding only two and picking up maximum points in Bosnia and Estonia.

Lennon has faced the strenuous task over the summer of dealing with the departures of players such as Dedryck Boyata, Mikael Lustig, Cristian Gamboa and Emilio Izaguirre as well as loan stars Filip Benkovic, Jeremy Toljan, Timothy Weah and Oliver Burke.

The Irishman has also terminated the contracts of duds Youssouf Mulumbu and Marvin Compper, both signed by his predecessor Brendan Rodgers, while dealing with the transfer saga concerning Kieran Tierney and Arsenal.

In the midst of all the exits, he has also spent £12million in bringing in Christopher Jullien, £7million from Toulouse, Boli Bolingoli, £3million from Rapid Vienna, Hatem Abd Elhamed, £1.2million from Hapoel Be’er Sheva, and Luca Connell, £350,000 from Bolton.

BOUNCING BHOY…Marian Shved celebrates his goal in Tallinn.

Hay, speaking in the Evening Times, commented: “I have been saying for weeks that I have never understood the ‘panic’ shown by some Celtic supporters over the supposed weakness of the squad.

“Surely after four convincing wins, hugely encouraging performances right across the board and some terrific football, those sceptics have relaxed.

“I said only last week that I was encouraged by what I had seen and that was without me seeing Christopher Julien or Marian Shved kicking a ball.

“Well, the £7million signing strolled through the win over Nomme Kaluj is Estonia, while Shved scored a terrific goal and looked keen to impress.

“Added to that was a good performance from Boli Bolingoli, who has been ridiculously criticised, and that’s three new guys up and running now with, I would imagine, two new signings still to be made.

“By the time the August transfer window shuts, Lenny will have two players competing for every position in a squad much improved from last season – and that was a squad that won a treble and made the last 32 of the Europa League.

“What must be said if that Cluj will be a significant step up. They have enjoyed good results in recent years, this is a good team, which is why I’m glad we go to Romania next week.

“Against the stronger teams. it’s always best to be able to play the deciding game at Celtic Park with, I hope and expect, a positive result to build on.”


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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