Neil Lennon believes Odsonne Edouard is back to his best

The French striker scored twice in the 2-1 win over St Johnstone.

Neil Lennon believes Odsonne Edouard is back to his best SNS Group

Neil Lennon hailed Odsonne Edouard’s return to form after watching the Frenchman lead Celtic’s Perth fightback.

The Frenchman has faced question marks over his commitment to the Parkhead cause this season.

But he has fired back at his critics with eight goals in his last six games after inspiring the Hoops to a 2-1 win at McDiarmid Park.

Trailing to Shaun Rooney’s opener just after half-time, Edouard first showed his poachers instinct to get across the front post to level up on the hour mark from Ryan Christie’s cross.

And he made it a quick-fire double as he then finished off a sublime team move set in motion by a clever Christie dummy.

Lennon – whose team have now won four games in a row for the first time since October to trim Rangers’ lead back to 18 points – said: “It was a very good performance.

“We took a blow with the first real attempt St Johnstone had on goal but our reaction was excellent.

“We scored two brilliant goals and we could have won the game by a lot more.

“The body language and performances are very good at the minute. We are not grinding out results, we are playing very well.

“Odsonne is back to is his best. Not just his goals but his play in general, particularly second half, was superb.

“He is definitely looking more and more like the player he was last season.

“I thought Christie was good, bright and energetic. Tom Rogic had a good game. Greg Taylor had another fine game and we defended resolutely at times when we needed to.

“Again, that’s something we haven’t done as well as we could have done this year.”

Edouard’s future remains in doubt with him now into the final 18 months of his deal.

But Lennon is pleased to see the 23-year-old knuckling down after months of speculation.

“He just seems a lot more settled,” said the Parkhead boss. “I think there were a lot of things on his mind in the first half of the season.

“He has really found his form now and we’re delighted because he makes us better. That’s the sort of form he was showing this time last season.

“It augurs well for between now and the end of the season. He is in great goalscoring form but I was pleased with his all-round performance.

“His physicality was back today, his running was better and certainly his technique on the ball was very good.”

Saints had gone four years without a goal at home to the Hoops but their long wait was ended five minutes into the second half as the impressive Rooney bulleted home with a header.

But Davidson was disappointed his side could not hold onto that lead.

“It’s a real difficult one to take,” said the Perth boss. “We’re walking off from the game thinking, ‘How did we lose the game?’

“Second half, we asked the players to be a bit braver on the ball. I thought we were and got a deserved goal.

“But with Celtic you need to make sure you defend properly and have that mindset of not conceding too soon after you score.

“The longer it goes on you can frustrate them and hopefully get the victory.

“But I’m really disappointed with the way we defended our box for the two goals.

“You can say it’s good play from them but for me we’ve got to do better initially with the back pass to Zander on his left foot then the challenges after that. We didn’t get near them and allowed them to score too easy.” 

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