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Football | Europe

Neil Lennon © Gallo Images

Lennon laments Celtic bust-up



Celtic manager Neil Lennon said Tuesday he regretted arguing in public with the club's fans but vowed to continue to defend his players against what he believes is unjustified criticism.

Hoops boss Lennon threatened to quit after a bust-up with several supporters during the shock 1-0 Scottish Premier League defeat by Inverness at Parkhead on Sunday.

But although Scottish champions Celtic have dropped 17 points – only four fewer than in the whole of last season – they remain top of the table by a point and face Spartak Moscow in a Champions League Group G decider next week.

Lennon, speaking ahead of Wednesday's league match at Hearts, said of his altercation with fans: "I regret it, yes, of course. It's not something I want to do.

"But if I think it (criticism) is unjustified I will voice my opinion.

"I am defending my team. I know it is difficult for fans because they are passionate about the team and want them to do well but sometimes it doesn't help.

"I think the world of my players and think the world of my supporters as well."

However, the former Celtic midfielder jokingly added: "But if I was the manager of Accrington Stanley I would do exactly the same time –although the way the results are going, I might soon be."

On a more serious note, Lennon admitted: "We are not happy with our recent home form but we are progressing, we are still in four competitions, we are top of the league albeit not playing as consistently as we would like.

"So at times we need a wee bit of patience but you don't always get that at big clubs, and I understand that.

"If the support are not happy with what they are seeing and voice their displeasure then I will review my situation. That's always been the case from day one.

"But there is no division here. I was expressing an opinion.

"I think they are right to expect us to win at home against Inverness, Kilmarnock and St Johnstone.

"We expect that as well and it is obviously an area we have to improve on."

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