Scott Bain has admitted that the backlash from the Celtic support this season has been tough to handle.
As the club’s quest to claim a historic 10th- successive title disintegrated in the opening half of the campaign, there were angry demonstrations outside Celtic Park.
At one stage, the club erected fencing for fear of further protests as fans broke lockdown rules to vent their fury in the aftermath of defeat by Ross County in the League Cup, sandwiched between heavy Europa League losses to Sparta Prague and AC Milan.
The campaign to remove manager Neil Lennon, as well as the Celtic board, has been amplified on social media, with the Parkhead support furious at the way in which the season has played out.
“I think it’s difficult for the players and the staff,” said Bain. “In previous years, there have been nothing but good times for a long time.
“When things aren’t going your way, that’s when you really need the fans to stick with you, back you up and help you get out of those bad patches.
“It’s been difficult for some players in terms of how much criticism and negative messages they’ve received through this hard spell.
“It’s part and parcel, and comes with the territory of playing for Celtic, I guess.
“We want to do the best we can for the club and, although we’re not where we want to be, we need to keep showing there’s fight in us till the very end, and it’s mathematically not possible to win the league.
“The drive has never been in question. The results haven’t been great at times this season but we’ve always tried our best for the club.”
Bain has assumed the No. 1 spot since the end of January as Celtic have steadied the ship.
Lennon’s side head to Dingwall for this evening’s game against Ross County on the back of a five-game winning run and Bain, one of three keepers used this season, is keen to keep the gloves for the remainder of the campaign.
“I’m not going to lie, it’s difficult when you’re left out of the team. But it’s about what you do then,” said Bain, who fell down the pecking order after the arrival of Greek internationalist Vasilios Barkas last summer.
“Do you say that’s my role, to sit there and watch the other boys play? Or you do you do all you can to make sure you’re in the manager’s thoughts, whether that’s training hard or doing extra work.
“Whatever you need to improve on is what you’ve got to do so the manager and staff can’t ignore you.
“I just hope I can stay in till the end of the season, and put as many games and wins together as I can.”
The keeper has backed the rising chorus of calls for team-mate David Turnbull to land a spot in Steve Clarke’s Euros squad, assuming the tournament goes ahead this summer.
“He’s shown how mature he can be in the game,” he said. “It’s difficult to ignore his performances, so he’s got every chance to make that squad.”
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