Neil Lennon deserves time to reverse Celtic 'crisis' - Gary Caldwell

Gary Caldwell and Neil Lennon
Gary Caldwell questions whether there is a better option as Celtic manager than Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon "deserves" the chance to reverse Celtic's "crisis", says his former team-mate Gary Caldwell.

Celtic, 11 points behind Rangers but with two games in hand in the Scottish Premiership, exited the League Cup at the hands of Ross County on Sunday.

That followed confirmation their Europa League campaign would end at the group stage after a second 4-1 loss to Sparta Prague on Thursday.

"I don't think there is a better option," Caldwell said of Lennon.

"It is a crisis. I don't think anyone can get away from that and Neil Lennon hasn't hidden from that. What is the plan? What is the better option?

"What he has done in his two spells as manager has given him a lot of credit. What he is to the football club in terms of his playing career as well also gives him credit. He deserves the time to make it work."

Former Scotland defender Caldwell played with Lennon at the end of the Northern Irishman's playing spell at Celtic.

Lennon left in 2007 but returned the following year as a coach and was promoted to the manager's post in 2010, winning the first three of Celtic's current run of nine titles in a row.

And, after Brendan Rodgers left midway through the 2018-19 campaign, Lennon returned to secure the eighth and record-equalling ninth titles.

"Ten in a row is almost like an obsession and that itself brings pressure," Caldwell told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound.

"The big thing Celtic have to get away from is focusing on the outcome, focusing on 10 in a row.

"They have to get back to process, they have to get back to working on the training pitch and getting that right so that they start winning games and building confidence that way."

'Telling time will be January' - analysis

Neil Lennon's former Celtic team-mate Steven Pressley

They are certainly suffering from a lack of confidence and I'm far from saying everything is fine because it's definitely not. I believe, with the backing of the board, with Neil Lennon's kind of strength, that Celtic will come through this.

Former Hearts and Scotland manager Craig Levein

It was a real shock on Sunday. The telling time will be January. I'm sure Celtic will plan on bringing players in. Between now and January, if Neil can turn it around, he might still be there.

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