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Neil Lennon confident he won’t lose backing of Celtic bosses

Celtic v St Johnstone – Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Neil Lennon vowed to keep trying to spark Celtic back into life until told otherwise after their latest setback.

The champions fell 13 points behind Rangers on Sunday after the Scottish Premiership leaders won 4-0 against Ross County and St Johnstone drew 1-1 at Parkhead.

Celtic needed a Mohamed Elyounoussi header to rescue a point after Chris Kane had netted from close range to put Saints ahead.

The result made it two wins in 12 games for Celtic and heaped more pressure on Lennon, despite the club publicly backing him last week.

When asked if that support could change after the latest slip, Lennon said: “I don’t think so and I don’t want it to change, I want to keep working with good people behind me, we just need to get the players back at the levels they were at.

“Do we maybe look at the training? Do we look at our routines? Do we look at our set-ups? All these things, we have analysed it to death.

“The players have to look at themselves as well and say, ‘We are better than this’. We need to find a solution as quickly as possible.”

Zander Clark made several good stops from Odsonne Edouard, but Celtic again laboured at times in front of an organised St Johnstone defence.

“We lacked speed, we were tentative and playing far too slowly,” Lennon said. “Again we tried to change it at half-time and get a bit more urgency in our play.

“And that’s what was missing – urgency, penetration, not working the goalkeeper enough.

“We had good chances and we need one of them to go in. A (Tom) Rogic header, Odsonne was in, (Christopher) Jullien header. But we are not creating enough clear-cut chances and it’s way too pedestrian from my liking.

“There is a lack of verve. We need more personality, more flair, more excitement in the team.

“Maybe sometimes you get that generated from the atmosphere but we haven’t got that at the minute.”

Once again some Celtic fans took their frustrations out on the streets, with a group gathering to call for change and footage emerging of some running after the team buses to express their anger.

Lennon said of their form: “It’s hugely concerning, I am not going to shy away from that. It’s hugely concerning we can’t keep a clean sheet.

“We were very comfortable in the game and we have switched off again. We dealt with a long throw and then rush out and left people run in behind us. It’s not good enough.

“And it’s not good enough in the final third, we are taking far too long to work defences, we are playing everything in front. It’s just not like us at all.

“While I don’t want to be critical of the players, we need a spark, we need to find that fluency.”