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Dublin: 2°C Tuesday 13 April 2021

Celtic boss Neil Lennon warns against fans' 'dangerous rhetoric'

A banner reading ‘shoot the board’ was hung outside Celtic Park.

Neil Lennon.
Neil Lennon.
Image: PA

UNDER-FIRE CELTIC manager Neil Lennon has accused sections of the club’s support of engaging in “dangerous rhetoric” after a banner saying “shoot the board” was hung outside Celtic Park.

Lennon, Celtic’s largest shareholder Dermot Desmond and chief executive Peter Lawwell have faced increasingly angry protests after a wretched run of two wins in their last 12 games.

Club bosses have reacted to the demonstrations by repeatedly backing Lennon in public and erecting a ring of steel barriers around the stadium.

However, fans have used the iron fences as a gallery to display a string of banners calling for Lennon and the board to go.

“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.

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

A statement from the Celtic board following Sunday’s 1-1 draw at home to St Johnstone that saw the Hoops fall 13 points behind Glasgow rivals Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership said Lennon would be given until the new year to turn things around.

“I think it sort of settles everyone down. I know it settles the players down, for sure,” Lennon added on the vote of confidence.

“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.

“For me there’s not an awful lot of work that needs to be done. Just that little bit of confidence. That little bit more of forward thinking, a little bit more freer in expression.”

© – AFP, 2020

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