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LENNON REPRIEVE Neil Lennon will be allowed to continue as Celtic manager despite growing calls for his departure


Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Photo: PA

Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Photo: PA

Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Photo: PA

Neil Lennon will remain in charge of Celtic for their Europa League game against AC Milan on Thursday after owner Dermot Desmond backed the under-fire manager to continue.

Fans gathered outside the stadium last Sunday calling for Hoops boss Neil Lennon to be sacked after the 2-0 Betfred Cup defeat to Ross County.

The Parkhead club said in a later statement that some players were left "shaken" after being targeted by missiles while footage showed some fans kicking down and throwing barriers.

It was Celtic’s first defeat in 36 domestic cup ties and it left them with two wins out of 10 as they sit 11 points behind Rangers at the top of the Premiership with two games in hand.

Celtic are out of the Europa League with two group games remaining but they have the chance to complete a unprecedented quadruple domestic treble when they take on Hearts at Hampden Park on December 20.

Yet despite huge speculation that Lennon was about to be replaced, he now looks set to be given a chance to continue in the role until that Cup Final after club's biggest shareholder Dermot Desmond backed him to continue in zoom meetings over the last 48 hours.

While Lennon is convinced he can turn around the club's fortunes, fans are growing increasingly impatient as former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan continues to be linked with a return to the club.

Yet Lennon is hoping he can revive the club's fortunes in a season when they are attempting to win a historic 10th successive Scottish Premiership title.

"It doesn’t matter what I say or what sort of bravado I put on. It won’t wash. I have to turn it around with results. I can only do that with the players," he said on Sunday.

"We had a really good meeting on Saturday. It was powerful and a lot of good stuff came out of it.

"There was a good ambience and atmosphere coming into the game but we just aren’t making it happen at the moment.

"Do I see myself as the man to lead the team? Of course. I believe in myself. I am not always going to harp on about what I have done in the past.

"We are in the present and I know the expectations from the supporters and the board for the club. I am falling short of that at the minute, me and my backroom team.

"It’s OK saying we are going to turn a corner. There is no point talking about it – we need to do it with our actions and soon. Otherwise, the landscape could change for me very quickly.

"I hope I’m here to turn things around because that’s what I want to do as quickly as possible. But obviously the results don’t help those chances."

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Online Editors