Celtic: Neil Lennon vows to stay strong amid scrutiny but concedes he is not everyone's cup of tea

Celtic travel to the Czech Republic to play Slavia Prague in an early evening kick-off on Thursday night; Celtic are in Scottish Premiership action at home to Ross County on Sunday before travelling to Italy to play AC Milan in the Europa League next week

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 25: Neil Lennon, Manager of Celtic looks on during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Aberdeen and Celtic at Pittodrie Stadium on October 25, 2020 in Aberdeen, Scotland. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Image: Neil Lennon is confident Celtic will come through sticky patch

Neil Lennon insists he will not buckle under the pressure of scrutiny over his future although the Celtic boss concedes he is not "everyone's cup of tea".

Celtic came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Hibernian on Saturday, but it ultimately left them with two wins out of their last eight games in all competitions and 11 points behind Premiership leaders Rangers, albeit the Hoops have two games in hand.

Lennon, preparing for the Europa League clash with Sparta Prague on Thursday, insists he will not wilt, adding his team will demonstrate their quality in the coming weeks.

"I have sort of reconciled myself with the fact that maybe I am not going to be everyone's cup of tea," he said.

"But it is a great privilege doing this job, the club means a lot to me and it has done for the last 20 years.

"I'm strong, I feel strong, my backroom team are strong and the players will only get better and more consistent as we go along.

"Since I've been back, we've won four trophies in a row, the team's won 11 in a row. We've got a chance of winning 12. We are going through a sticky patch, all teams do and good teams and managers come through that and that's what I firmly believe we'll do.

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"So it is as you are, let's get improvement, let's get some wins, let's play the type of football we know we are capable of, which we showed in the last 20 minutes at Easter Road, and we will be absolutely OK."

Lennon described Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell as "very, very supportive" on the day some Hoops fans very publicly called for their manager to go.

A Celtic supporters group unveiled a banner outside Celtic Park on Wednesday morning calling for Lennon, who is in his second spell in charge of the club, to go

"Obviously all of us are not happy with the way things are panning out at the minute," Lennon said.

"But there is a calmness about Peter and the board. There's no panic. We have been over the course and distance many times before.

"I speak to Peter every day. He is very, very supportive, as he is with the players and my backroom team as well."

Celtic manager Neil Lennon during  the UEFA Europa League match between Celtic and Sparta Prague 0:33
Andy Walker says Celtic cannot afford any slips ups between now and their next meeting with Rangers on January 2 if they are to retain any title ambitions.

On the subject of the banner, Lennon said: "It is disappointing but fans are entitled to voice their opinion. Whether I agree with it or not is irrelevant, they have put it out there.

"It's something that I am not really going to engage with. I've got a job to do here and I think I've done it pretty well since I came back in."

Lennon and Celtic retained the league title, the club's ninth in a row, earlier this year after the season was shortened due to Covid-19.

In his two spells as manager, Lennon has won five league titles, three Scottish Cups and one League Cup, with Celtic on the brink of an unprecedented fourth successive domestic treble as they prepare to face Hearts in the delayed 2019/2020 Scottish Cup Final on December 20.

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