Saturday 20 January 2018

Lennon: Hoops lack 'bottle, desire and hunger'

A furious Neil Lennon told his Celtic players some of their Parkhead careers were all but over after accusing them of showing no "bottle, desire or hunger" in their Scottish Cup semi-final defeat by Ross County.

Caretaker manager Lennon read the riot act to his squad in the dressing-room after the club's miserable season hit a new low.

The former Celtic captain directed much of his ire at misfiring strikers Georgios Samaras and Marc-Antoine Fortune, who he claimed had failed to put their bodies on the line for the cause.

Revealing he was "past angry", Lennon said: "Whether I'm here or not next season, I told them I'm pretty sure some of them won't be.

"People talk about Tony not instilling passion in the team. Those are things you can't give the players. You can get them motivated and they'll pull the wool over your eyes.

"There was only one team out there who wanted to win and that was Ross County. I'd like to congratulate them -- they deserved it."

Revealing his sentiments were echoed by one or two of his players, he added: "Bottle, desire and hunger. You have to have that from a kid growing up. You have to love the game and want to play the game and want to win. We don't have enough winners. Half of them never turned up.

"I'm sick of seeing our players fall over. I'm sick of seeing strikers not want to go in where it hurts. We've gone out of every competition with an absolute whimper. It's been a pretty shambolic season."

Lennon, who does not believe his current squad have it in them to mend their ways, added: "I warned them about Inverness. I warned them about semi-finals.

"I told them to start the game quickly, earn the right to play, because I played in eight or nine semi-finals and not one of them was a cakewalk. It was a fight and you have to earn the right to play."

And Lennon did not mince his words about what he expects from his squad for their final six games of the season, saying: "Show some b******* for God's sake."

Irish Independent

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