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Lennon’s shielding plea as he turns focus onto protesting fans

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Neil Lennon has urged Celtic fans to lay off his under-performing players.

As recently as the 2-2 draw against Hibs Lennon accused the players of a lack of hunger but that was before the four goal Europa League humiliations to Sparta Prague and AC Milan.

Following the 2-0 Betfred Cup defeat to Ross County around 200 fans turned up at Celtic Park to protest but that was on the back of two wins in 10 games.

Facing Lille tonight that run has been extended to 2 wins in 12 attempts with Lennon telling the Daily Record that fan criticism is a factor in the current depressing run of results:

With the level of criticism, they wouldn’t be human beings if it didn’t affect them in some shape of form. The longer the game goes, they are probably trying to force the issue more.

We live in an age of social media platforms where abuse and criticism, as well as praise, is almost instant and personal. What we’re trying to avoid is them reading too much into that.

But obviously when you see the physical interactions, with some supporters outside the ground, it doesn’t serve a great purpose for the club or the players.

Highlighting the criticism of supporters, and the aftermath of two matches that has attracted angry fans to the stadium doesn’t do Lennon or the players any favours.

Over five Europa League matches stretching back to the middle of October the team has lost 17 goals using every defenders at the club, two goalkeepers and a variety of systems and tactics.

Explaining those issues over 12 matches rather than the actions of perhaps 300 supporters after a match is more likely to turn things around and send the team on a winning run.

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