Celtic: Neil Lennon claims club 'totally united' after Peter Lawwell and Dermot Desmond talks

By Clive LindsayBBC Sport

Manager Neil Lennon says he, chief executive Peter Lawwell and major shareholder Dermot Desmond remain "totally united" despite Celtic's Europa League exit by Sparta Prague.

Celtic can no longer qualify from their group and have now only won twice in nine games in all competitions.

But Lennon has had "long chats" with his squad and leading club figures.

"It was a very productive conversation and I have their full support," Lennon said.

"We had a long chat after the game and I had a long chat with Peter and Dermot Desmond and we're totally united, we're totally together and we're totally determined that we'll make this into a good season."

Lennon revealed that he, Lawwell and Desmond looked for solutions to the current downturn in results when they chatted on his return from Czech Republic.

"They are not happy about things, they are honest about things, but they believe in me and I believe in them," he said.

"I speak to Dermot maybe twice a week and I spoke to the two of them today on a Zoom call this morning to try to find solutions to what we can do better, not just with the first team but all round the club."

Lennon said it was "not surprising" that they remain supportive, despite calls by some sections of the Celtic support to sack him, "because of the relationship I've had with them both as a player and a manager".

"They have been with me since day one through the good times and we're going through what is perceived as a bad time at the minute," he said.

Lennon remains confident in the ability of his side to come from 11 points behind Rangers, albeit with two games in hand, and secure a 10th domestic league title in a row.

"Obviously disappointed at the result last night and the run of results we've had recently, but we are very determined to turn things around," he said.

"I don't think it'll take that much. I just think the players in some aspects of the game are lacking a little bit of confidence, but it's nothing terminal here."

Lennon believes some players have been adversely affected by the lack of fans at Celtic Park and the unusual training circumstances during the Covid-19 pandemic but believes he can find solutions to their dip in form.

"It is not a question of constantly hounding them or criticising them - they are going to get that from the media and social media anyway," he added.

"What they need now is my support and coaching support and belief that they are really good players. Class is permanent and form is temporary, I have always believed that, and believe they will come good sooner rather than later."

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