Neil Lennon has hit back at Kenny Shiels' paranoia taunts by comparing the Kilmarnock boss to Ricky Gervais' comedy creation David Brent.
The Celtic boss described the absence of his players from the PFA Scotland Player of the Year shortlist as "abysmal" last week, prompting Shiels to say: "Celtic make a song and dance about everything, don't they? Paranoid FC."
Speaking after Celtic's 3-1 Clydesdale Bank Premier League defeat to Motherwell at Fir Park, Lennon responded by likening Shiels to Brent from the BBC series, The Office. He said: "Kenny has always had plenty to say about our club. He likes to ramble on in little monologues, he is a bit like David Brent sometimes. He is an unconscious comedian."
He added: "Nothing surprises me from Kenny. He has had a couple of barbed comments about my team and the club over the last couple of years so he must have a personal agenda, I don't know, you would need to ask him about that
"I do take exception to the paranoia (comment). That's been thrown at our club for the last 15 to 20 years but I think the last three or four years have proved that we weren't paranoid, we were just right.
"I still think that one or two of our players should be in the running for player of the year. I said the other day that all the candidates have had fine seasons.
"I am not taking anything away from them. It has been made out as though I have taken the gloss away from them, that's not what I am trying to do at all."
Michael Higdon, who is shortlisted for the award, scored a penalty to take his tally for the season to 26 and was key as Stuart McCall's men clinched a Europa League spot in impressive style by coming from behind to beat a much-changed Hoops side.
Motherwell moved on to 60 points, nine ahead of third-placed Inverness with three games remaining and it would take a remarkable collapse to deprive the Steelmen of second spot, but Europe is guaranteed.
Lennon was asked about Higdon's performance, and he said: "I like Higdon. He is a handful but I didn't think he really troubled us today. He got a goal from a penalty but I thought we handled him okay."