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Lennon refuses to criticise duo
Published : 03 Oct 2010 12:41:00
eil Lennon refused to point the finger at Glenn Loovens and Daniel Majstorovic after Celtic recovered from a poor start to beat Hamilton. Mark McLaughlin scored a shock opener for the visitors after three minutes and, with the home defence in some disarray, Hoops' keeper Fraser Forster had to produce several good saves to prevent the home side falling further behind However, Shaun Maloney levelled with a header to ease the nerves of the Celtic support and the former Aston Villa player scored with a wonderful free-kick after the break before Gary Hooper sealed the win that takes them above Old Firm rivals Rangers on goal difference. Celtic stretched their winning run in the SPL to seven games but doubts remain among the Parkhead support about the centre of their defence and they were expressed in the early stages of the game. However, Lennon insists any problems his side have are general rather than specific. The Celtic manager said: "The opening 15 to 20 minutes was very poor and we went to sleep on numerous occasions. "The decision-making was poor and the defensive discipline was poor. "Our goalkeeper was fantastic and he had to be. He had to make some very good saves to keep the score down and allow us to get back in to the game "We had to give it to them at half-time and the second half was better. "But overall, I've been pleased with the two centre-halves. "I think they have looked pretty solid and they can't be at their best every game. "They didn't have a great start today but in general they got better as the game went on. "They weren't the only culprits. We were poor in possession and the tempo was poor. "So I wouldn't point the finger at those two as the main reason we got off to a poor start. "We had to dig deep, got the equaliser and after that we were much, much better. "There must be (a way to change that mentality). We keep drumming it in to them, and I don't know why they are not taking it on board at the minute but we will get to the bottom of it sooner rather than later." Maloney, back in Craig Levein's Scotland squad for the forthcoming Euro 2012 qualifying double-header against the Czech Republic and Spain, picked the perfect time to grab a double. "I said previously that I need to get on the scoresheet more consistently and fortunately today was one of those days," he said. "It was always nice to go in to an international week in pretty good form and I'm looking forward to meeting up on Monday. "We didn't start the first 10 minutes that well but credit to Hamilton, they started very well and passed the ball very well. "But I would say we controlled the majority of the second half so I'm pretty pleased." Accies manager Billy Reid claimed the free-kick awarded against James Goodwin for a challenge on Scott Brown, which led to Celtic's second goal, was the turning point. He said: "I approached the fourth official and told him it was never a free-kick but they still have to score. "Maloney put it in the top corner and that was a kick in the teeth for us. "The start was remarkable. To score at Celtic Park is a big, big thing for us but it could have been two or three nil in the first 20 minutes and that's a statement to make coming here. "But we knew Celtic would come back at us and over the 90 minutes I can have no complaints."