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Lennon upset by ‘shoot the board’ banner at Celtic Park

The Celtic manager believes protests go too far with provocative banners.

Lennon upset by ‘shoot the board’ banner at Celtic Park SNS Group

Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes protests from the club’s supporters have crossed a line after a banner reading ‘shoot the board’ was displayed outside the stadium.

Some fans have gathered at Celtic Park in the last week to protest after a run of results which has left the club 13 points behind Rangers, out of Europe and out of the League Cup.

After two statements within a week from the club leadership supporting the manager, the latest of which said that the position would be reviewed “in the new year”, banners were hung up targeting the board.

“From some sections of the support it is dangerous rhetoric,” Lennon said.

“What I will say is, we all want the same thing. Those fans want success, the majority of our fans want success. The players and everybody here want the same thing. We don’t want any divisions. I understand the frustrations and the players are feeling that as well.

“But we don’t like that kind of language or expression anywhere near the football stadium. It serves no purpose really.

“I can’t speak on behalf of the supporters but it’s a cultural thing at the moment. It’s a societal, modern-day thing.

“It’s not what we want. It doesn’t serve any purpose. It certainly doesn’t inspire anyone at the club to achieve great things.

“We all want unity. We have got that certainly from the football side of things and we just want the supporters to get behind the team, especially when they need it.

“That’s what the Celtic fans do.

Responding to the statement of support, the manager once again said that he was pleased to have the backing of those in power at the club, saying it could give some stability.

“I think it sort of settles everyone down,” he said. “I know it settles the players down for sure.

“They are really happy about that, thankfully, from my point of view.

“It’s full steam ahead. We just need to try to get some consistency and wins now.”

The Northern Irishman was speaking ahead of his side’s Europa League dead rubber against Lille. He said that he intended to rotate his squad for the game, bringing in some players who have been on the fringes of the action recently.

“We are looking at Patryk Klimala, David Turnbull and Ismaila Soro getting game time which they deserve and need with the run of games coming up. It’s ideal to give them an opportunity to play.”

Hatem Abd Elhamed, Nir Bitton and Olivier Ntcham will miss out through injury.