Murdo MacLeod says Neil Lennon deserves credit for his work at Celtic

Neil Lennon poses with three trophies
Neil Lennon poses with three trophies (PA Archive)
4:30am, Fri 26 Feb 2021
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

Former Celtic midfielder Murdo MacLeod believes Neil Lennon’s legacy will be recognised positively in time as he blamed the players for their part in a disastrous season.

The Northern Irishman resigned on Wednesday with the nine-in-a-row champions 18 points behind Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Former Celtic captain Lennon took charge for a second spell in February 2019 and led the Hoops to two titles, two Scottish Cups and one Betfred Cup.

But impending failure to win a record-breaking 10 successive titles left many fans angry.

MacLeod, who was number two to Wim Jansen when Celtic stopped Rangers making it 10 in a row in 1998, believes it is not the time to judge Lennon.

He told the Celtic Huddle podcast: “Obviously this was to be an historic year for Celtic and it has not happened and Neil has been part of it, he was the manager and he didn’t win 10 in a row.

“So all the Celtic fans are not happy about it, just now they are very angry and the next couple of matches when Rangers eventually win the league, then that’s it, they have won the league and stopped 10 in a row.

“But Neil Lennon (as a player) won a lot of trophies and similarly in his first time in management and then he comes back to the club again and wins a treble.

“Neil has been a fantastic person for Celtic Football Club and this is the wrong time to judge him.

“Obviously everybody is gutted for the 10 in a row but he has done so much for the club.

“I think the players have got to take so much responsibility because I have never seen a Celtic team play as poorly as this.

“The manager is doing his job and he is fighting as much as he can to get things going but the players – every Celtic supporter has been sitting, shouting at the television about the way players have been playing, the way they have defended.

“Looking at Celtic’s defence every game, there is always something happening in a game.

“Teams that should have no chances against Celtic and Celtic are giving them chances all the time and things like that have happened all season.

“You are looking at (Christopher) Jullien, (Shane) Duffy, (Kristoffer) Ajer, all these big guys at six foot five and they are not defending well enough.”

Sign up to our newsletter