Irate Lennon blasts bad Bhoys

11 April 2010 11:32
eil Lennon accused some of his Celtic players of showing no "bottle, desire and hunger" in the Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Ross County.

Caretaker manager Lennon read the riot act to his squad after locking them in the dressing room for 15 minutes following the 2-0 loss at Hampden, as the club's miserable season hit a new low.

The former Parkhead captain directed much of his ire at misfiring strikers Georgios Samaras and Marc-Antoine Fortune, who he claimed had failed to put their bodies on the line for the cause.

Revealing he was "past angry", Lennon - who was handed the reins following Tony Mowbray's sacking last month - said: "Whether I'm here or not next season, I told them I'm pretty sure some of them won't be.

"People talk about Tony not instilling passion in the team. Those are things you can't give the players.

"You can get them motivated and they'll pull the wool over your eyes.

"There was only one team out there who wanted to win today, and that was Ross County.

"I'd like to congratulate them - they deserved it."

Revealing his sentiments were echoed by one or two of his players, he added: "Bottle, desire and hunger, you have to have that from a kid growing up.

"You have to love the game and want to play the game and want to win. We don't have enough winners."

Lennon kept faith with the same outfield line-up from his first two games in charge.

"Half of them never turned up," he said, accusing Samaras and Fortune of being "nowhere near consistent enough".

"I'm sick of seeing our players fall over.

"I'm sick of seeing strikers not want to go in where it hurts and score a goal for the team.

"We've gone out of every competition with an absolute whimper."

He added: "It's been a pretty shambolic season. Let's not mince our words here.

"We're 13-16 points behind Rangers, we've gone out of the quarter-finals of the League Cup, gone out of the semi-finals to a First Division team in the FA Cup.

"UEFA Cup (Europa League): couldn't even make it out of the group.

"You tell me, is that good enough for Celtic?"

Saturday's defeat was up there with the club's other shock cup exits over the past decade.

Lennon, who does not believe his current squad have it in them to mend their ways, said: "I warned them about Inverness, Clyde; I warned them about semi-finals.

"I told them to start the game quickly, earn the right to play, because I played in eight or nine semi-finals and not one of them was a cakewalk - not one of them did we play teams off the pitch.

"It was a fight and you have to earn the right to play.

"We go out and we think, 'It'll come to us'.

"Never forced a corner, never worked the goalkeeper. Sloppy, casual - I don't know if they were nervous. But you have to overcome all those things.

"You're playing for Celtic; there's huge expectation. Bottom line is, we're not good enough."

The defeat will harm Lennon's chances of becoming manager on a permanent basis but he said: "It reinforces the fact that that I want it more."

And he did not mince his words about what he expects from his squad for their final six games of the season, saying: "Show some b******* for God's sake."

Source: Team_Talk

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