Neil Lennon has excused Gary Hooper from his scathing comments after Celtic’s defeat at Ross County.
Hooper and Victor Wanyama have been at the centre of most transfer speculation since the turn of the year with Lennon wondering if some players minds were elsewhere.
After a great scoring run through January the goals have dried up a little for Hooper however the restoration of his partnership with Anthony Stokes has added a new dimension to a number of recent matches.
“Gary Hooper was the one bright spark going forward,” Lennon said after the defeat in Dingwall. “I was pleased with his contribution and Miku played okay in fits and starts but it was very difficult on that pitch. You’re not going to get a good game of football.
“You never can tell but we should have been 4-2 up at half-time. We missed two great chances then they got a huge slice of luck with the one the keeper saves and it goes up and hits the bar off the defender.
“We looked leggy at the back, I don’t know if it was down to a bit of fatigue. We have lost the last two away games to poor performances. It wasn’t good enough.”
Lennon added: “We’ve had a long week. We didn’t have a day to prepare because we had a four-hour drive after coming back on Thursday so there are mitigating circumstances for a bit of lethargy.
“We had nine out and no full-backs, so I had to go with a back three. What you can’t lack is character and we did in several departments so I’m angry about that.
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