Lennon: Celtic chief Lawwell has been very, very supportive

The under-fire Celtic manager addressed a banner from fans calling for his exit.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has said he has enjoyed the support of club chief executive Peter Lawwell after a run of results that saw a fan’s group call for his resignation.

Lennon has been under fire as Celtic have lost ground in the title race with Rangers, now sitting 11 points behind their rivals, though they have two games in hand. The club has also struggled in Europe with a 4-1 home defeat to Sparta Prague part of a sequence where Celtic have only won twice in eight games.

Some fans have expressed their unhappiness and called for change, with supporters’ group the Green Brigade holding up a banner outside Celtic Park that read: “Save the ten – time to go, Neil”, referencing the bid to win a tenth consecutive league title.

Lennon said he had the backing of Lawwell, though he ackowledged that nobody at the club was satisfied with recent results.

“Obviously all of us are not happy with the way things are panning out at the minute,” he said.

“But there is a calmness about Peter and the board. There’s no panic. We have been over the course and distance many times before.

“I speak to Peter every day. He is very, very supportive, as he is with the players and my backroom team as well.”

Addressing the banner, Lennon said he it was “irrelevant” how he felt about it.

“It is disappointing but fans are entitled to voice their opinion,” he said. “Whether I agree with it or not is irrelevant, they have put it out there.

“It’s something that I am not really going to engage with. I’ve got a job to do here and I think I’ve done it pretty well since I came back in.

“I have sort of reconciled myself with the fact that maybe I am not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.

“But it is a great privilege doing this job, the club means a lot to me and it has done for the last 20 years.

“I’m strong, I feel strong, my backroom team are strong and the players will only get better and more consistent as we go along.”

After fighting back from 2-0 down to earn a draw against Hibs on Sunday, Lennon is now looking ahead to the rematch with Sparta Prague on Thursday and hoping to see progress.

He said: “It is as you are, let’s get improvement, let’s get some wins, let’s play the type of football we know we are capable of, which we showed in the last 20 minutes at Easter Road, and we will be absolutely OK.

“We have to win tomorrow to stand any chance of qualifying. That’s our sole focus now. The reverse game here was as disappointing as we’ve been for a while and it’s important we motivate ourselves to correct that.”

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