Neil Lennon last night accused his Celtic players of letting him down and questioned whether some had buckled under the pressure of trying to win 10 in a row.
The Hoops boss spoke out after watching his side beaten at home by St Mirren for the first time in 31 years.
The result, which leaves his team still trailing Rangers by 23 points with just two games in hand, has further increased the uncertainty surrounding the Irishman’s future.
The man himself, though, insisted, his own position had not changed and he will not be quitting.
“I would say this is the lowest point of my management here, in the six years,” said Lennon.
“This is a real test of adversity and you have got to show strength.
“I want to show strength but I need support and performances from players.
“Too many of them have been insipid this season to say the least.
“Look, whatever walk of life you are in you need to have a form of professional pride. Especially at a club like this.
“To be fair to the players, over the years they have done. But that has been sadly lacking this season.
“Maybe the pressure of doing the 10 has been too much for them. Maybe they have just got tired of winning, tired of playing in Scotland, tired of living in Scotland, I don’t know. That’s a question you need to ask them.
“But if we approach the opposition like that we are going to win nothing.
“If we play with no intensity and no will to win, just fulfilling a fixture, we are not going to win everything.”
And when asked the question himself as to whether he was being let down, the Irishman was frank.
“Honestly, at this minute I think yes they are. And they have done for quite a while this season,” he said.
“It was dreadful out there. Just not good enough.
“Absolutely baffling first-half performance, short of energy, short of confidence. Short of any sort of quality at all.”
Lennon’s words got the backing of Callum McGregor, who was skipper in Scott Brown’s absence.
“The manager tries to get his ideas across and the players are paid to implement that, and for one reason or another we haven’t this season,” he said.
“Everyone has to take collective responsibility and the players haven’t performed as well as we can.”
Celtic are hopeful of concluding the signing of Preston defender Ben Davies before the close of the transfer window tomorrow.
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe