Lennon says time to name culprits for Celtic slide

30 October 2011 01:00

An angry Neil Lennon has threatened to name and shame the players who he believes are costing Celtic their title challenge after his side slipped 12 points behind Rangers in the Scottish Premier League.

Lennon watched from the sidelines as the Hoops poor start to the season continued with a frustrating goalless draw by Hibernian at Parkhead on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Old Firm rivals Rangers stretched their lead over Lennons side in maintaining their unbeaten start to the season with a 2-1 win away to Aberdeen.

Celtic have lost three times and drawn twice in their opening 12 games of the SPL campaign this term as the Hoops have struggled for consistency.

And following yet another disappointing draw Lennon was clearly furious at the players in his side he labelled passengers, claiming a few players are having to try to carry the team.

"Im very angry and disappointed with the players," Lennon blasted.

"They just let the game drift away from them and thats not acceptable. I would like to make changes but the way the squads stretched at the minute its very difficult to do that.

"There are some players in there who have given everything. Theyve played a lot of football and carried the torch for the team.

"There are a few who have been really consistent like James Forrest, Ki Sung-Yeung and Joe Ledley who have played really well through the whole period.

"But there are other players who need to come with them and stop leaving it to these guys to carry the team.

"There are players at the minute who are just happy to go along riding on their backs and not really making the contribution Im wanting of them.

"I have to speak to them and out them basically. I dont think they are giving enough in terms of their quality of play or effort.

"I will speak to them individually and tell them what I think and I will be looking for a response from them."

Despite his sides poor run of results which leaves his side 12 points behind Rangers - albeit with a game in hand - Lennon said he had no fears about his own job.

"The only way I will leave the job this season is if I decide that Im not taking the club forward or getting the performances that the fans merit," the Celtic manager said.

"I am not hugely concerned about my position. Its just more a question of why I cant get these players to be as consistent as they were last season.

"We need to win the game in hand. What we have to do is find a consistency.

"It is a concern - there is no doubt about that. I mean 12 points is a huge total at this stage of the season.

"But thats what it is and we have to dig in and work away and try and claw it back but not on performances like that. There is still a long way to go but I cant keep saying that after performances like that."

Lennon also dismissed speculation linking him with the vacant managers role at former club Leicester City following the departure of Sven Goran Eriksson.

"Its a great club and they have spent a lot of money but I love what I do here. Ive got a huge challenge on my hands here and Im enjoying the challenge.

"I would say Celtic is a bigger challenge than most other clubs in the world in terms of the pressure and the goldfish bowl you live in."

Source: AFP

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