Neil Lennon: I carry the can


Neil Lennon has taken responsibility for Celtc’s Europa League defeat to FC Utrecht and has promised to speed up his transfer activity.

Losing out on a place in the Europa Cup group stages is a big blow to the club who would have been looking to earn close to £5m from all sources by qualifying for the knock-out phase.

Utrecht’s win brought comparisons to the recent humiliations against Artmedia Bratislava and Ross County with Lennon accepting that he was to blame for the Europa League exit.

“I said everything I wanted to say after Ross County and I’m not just going to blame the players this time,” the Celtic boss confirmed. “Myself and the staff have to carry the can for this, as well.

“What I said afterwards is probably best left to the privacy of the dressing room, but again I can’t keep going on about home truths.

“I never had any illusions about where we are. I was always wary of this tie but didn’t think we would play as badly as that. The mentality problem is there, there’s no doubt about it.

“You can’t go on about history and our record in Europe because it’s a different manager, different team. But we still make the same mistakes away from home and it has to be a mentality thing because they are the same players as last week.

“It’s pretty evident that there are still areas we need to improve on drastically. Hopefully, before the window shuts, we will have something for you.

“It didn’t look like we believed we could get a goal. We made changes to try and rectify it but it didn’t matter what sort of personnel we tried to make, it didn’t look like we were ever going to score. We didn’t put the keeper under any pressure whatsoever.”

Anthony Stokes is expected to join Celtic today with Marco Fortune returning to West Brom in a £2m deal.

Stokes could go straight into the team to play Motherwell at Fir Park on Sunday with Lennon also likely to gve a debut to on-loan Newcastle keeper Fraser Forster.

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  • Jimmybhoy says:

    Disillusioned big time. Embarrassing at a standard way worse than Artmedia who were champions of their country.

    Where we go from here, no idea.

    Is the job too big for Neil, well he talks about lack of belief, strange as were 2-0 up from the first leg. empty seats at home games will be more and more if quality does not improve.

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