Celtic boss Neil Lennon has called on his players to repay the faith he has shown in them after the Parkhead giants’ indifferent start to the season, with a UEFA Europa League test against Stade Rennes to come on Thursday.
Celtic fell 12 points behind Scottish Premier League leaders Rangers after Saturday’s goalless draw against Hibernian, leaving Lennon frustrated at his side’s lack of drive and urgency.
That performance was indicative of Celtic’s inconsistent nature this term as on Wednesday they had overcome a half-time deficit to score four goals against the same opposition in the Scottish League Cup quarter-finals.
Celtic have only won six of their last 16 games in all competitions and Lennon is baffled by their inconsistency, which was encapsulated in two games against Hibernian last week.
He told the Evening Times on Monday: “I have shown a lot of faith in these players, and they keep letting me and my backroom staff down at the minute.
“I don’t know if it really hurts them enough, or if they treat it with indifference.”
Lennon himself is determined to reward the support the Celtic board have given him.
He admits he has considered whether he is the right man to take Celtic forward but he is eager to turn results around for the supporters along with majority shareholder Dermot Desmond and chief executive Peter Lawwell.
“I get great support from Mr Desmond and Peter Lawwell,” Lennon said.
“So, in that respect, if it comes to the point where I think it is irretrievable, I will sit down and speak to them and see what they want to do.
“I speak to Mr Desmond every week, and he is hugely supportive. He is pretty encouraging towards myself.
“They have shown a great faith in me, and I want to repay that. But I’ve got to start that by getting results.”
Former Celtic striker Andy Walker has questioned whether there is enough leadership and character in the team to put their title challenge back on track.
“I think it’s a very soft team,” Walker told Sky Sports News.
“Their approach to the game is lacking. I would just like to see some leadership and some players step up to the mark.”