NEIL LENNON admitted he doesn’t know if he still has the backing of the Celtic hierarchy.

Dermot Desmond, the club’s multi-billionaire majority shareholder, and chief executive Peter Lawwell supported the manager when he was going through a rough spell before the turn of the year.

Raging fans had stormed Celtic Park after a sequence of disappointing results after the club had been knocked out of the Champions League and Europa League group. The anger erupted following the shocking Betfred League Cup exit against Ross County at Parkhead in November.

The pressure is back on Lennon after a disastrous four-game sequence since the turn of the year that has seen them drop nine of a possible 12 points in their vain hope of somehow achieving a tenth successive title.

Last night’s 2-2 draw with Livingston leaves the champions 20 points behind pacesetters Rangers. Only an unlikely somersault in fortunes will now open the door for the struggling Hoops to make championship history.

Asked if the end is near, Lennon, speaking to the Daily Record, replied: “I can’t answer that. You’re asking the wrong person.”

He admitted he has been worried about his job from the moment he stepped back through the door in February 2019 and said: “I’ve been concerned about my position for a long time.

“Listen, when I came in I didn’t know how long I was going to be in the job for because there was an outcry of ‘maybe he’s not good enough, blah blah blah’.

“But I’ve won five trophies out of six so far. Maybe the league is beyond us, but I don’t think there’s been a balance (in criticism) and that’s fine.

“That’s fine, I can take all that. I’ve just got to keep working away and keep believing we’ll turn results into wins.”

Goals from Livi’s Ciaron Brown and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas heaped further misery on Lennon and his players, despite strikes from Mohamed Elynounoussi and Nir Bitton putting them ahead at the interval.

An awful evening at the snowbound stadium was compounded by a red card for skipper Scott Brown only five minutes after he had come on as a late substitute for Ismail Soro.

Lennon added: “We are going through a difficult season. There’s an expectancy to win 10 In a row, but it’s never guaranteed.

“Even when we won eight, people were talking about 10 when we hadn’t won nine.

“We had to go and win nine, we did that and there was a lot of expectancy going into the season, but we’ve been disappointing.

“But the club isn’t a shambles, far from it. It’s not in crisis off the field.

“The board have been magnificent, they’ve presided over nine titles in a row, a quadruple treble.

“That’s unheard of any in era of football. People need to take a step back and put a perspective on it.

“From my point of view, it’s not been good enough. It’s not been consistent enough and we’ve not played well enough.”

Celtic’s next Premiership encounter is against Hamilton Accies at Parkhead on Wednesday.

The Lanarkshire club opened the Premiership season in the east end of Glasgow on August 2 when the nine-in-a-row champions romped to a 5-1 success with Odsonne Edouard claiming a hat-trick.

It must seem like a lifetime ago for Lennon and his troops who are clearly sapped of confidence.


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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