Results haven’t been good enough.
Because of that, Neil Lennon knows he will be criticised by Celtic supporters.
If he was on the outside looking in, at the run of results and performances in recent weeks, he would be frustrated and wondering what was going on.
But that doesn’t justify the actions of some “supporters” last Sunday night on the grounds of Celtic Park in the wake of the disappointing 2-0 defeat to Ross County in the Betfred Cup.
There is no way it can be condoned. It was all extremely unpleasant.
To break social-distancing rules and other Covid-19 guidelines, for arrests to be made, and for people – including police – to pick up injuries in scuffles just isn’t acceptable.
It would have been far better had there been a peaceful protest.
But the problem is, just now, they have nowhere to vent their anger and frustration.
Normally they would let off steam at the manager, the players and the club hierarchy inside the stadium during the 90 minutes.
That option isn’t available to them just now, and hasn’t been all season.
That’s why it took place in the manner it did around 4pm last Sunday.
It will have left Neil, the board and the players shaken, of that there is no doubt.
But I am sure they all care enough to try to turn it around.
Some of the things we witnessed last Thursday night in the 4-2 defeat at AC Milan in the Europa League will offer encouragement ahead of this afternoon’s SPFL game at home to St Johnstone.
But there is still a lot of hard work ahead, and nothing can be taken for granted.
Another part of the problem is likely to be that while most of the players will be hurting from the recent results and loss of form, unfortunately, not all of them will be.
It’s up to Neil Lennon to identify the ones he knows will give 100% for themselves – and for the jersey – and play them.
At this moment, attitude and desire may well override ability.
Neil will take all of this into account when choosing his starting line-up because he knows there is little room for error.
The manager will look to the team to now go on a run of victories that will see them win the Scottish Cup on December 20, and let Rangers know they are in a battle this season ahead of the Old Firm game on January 2.
But they face an almighty battle to get the better of their oldest rivals.
Steven Gerrard has his team playing really, really well, and they looked good again the other night in Europe against Standard Liege.
First things first, Celtic need to beat St Johnstone today, which won’t be easy.
Callum Davidson’s side are playing good football and are unbeaten in 10 fixtures.
But Celtic’s fightback needs to start today at 3pm.
They need to try harder, defend better and create more chances. I’m sure Scott Brown will be hammering home that message to the squad in the dressing room.
They can then take that towards winning the Cup for their 12th domestic trophy on the trot.
That said, the supporters are all focused on 10-in-a-row. They are very concerned that it’s slipping from their grasp, and that is perfectly understandable.
I’ve heard some people say that the fans should calm down when it comes to “the 10” and relax.
But, clearly, it means a lot to most of them. They’d probably give up everything this season to clinch another title.
However, we all know that Rangers are not going to give up their spot at the top of the table lightly. They are going to take some shifting.
There is a feelgood factor around Ibrox just now, and the fans are also buzzing with the news about Dave King offering his shareholding to Club 1872 group.
It’s King’s parting gift, and will be his legacy.
The cost to make it happen will be in the region of £13-million, and Club 1872 are confident of raising the necessary sums.
Dave is selling his shares to the supporters group cheaper than what they’d be worth on the open market.
So that’s credit to him – but we shouldn’t be surprised.
He is a Rangers supporter, but he is also very clever.
His investment in the club a few years ago, and his business acumen, got the club back on its feet and thriving.
He had to put out several fires, and had his work cut out from the beginning.
His focus and drive was first-class, however, and he was a fantastic ally for Steven. That was vital.
We will all see how this develops in the coming weeks and months.
But Rangers are in excellent hands with the current board, and going in the right direction – on and off the park.
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