Juninho hits out at O'Neill
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Juninho has criticised Martin O'Neill after his failed spell in Scottish football.Juninho has provided a scathing assessment of Martin O'Neill, after the former Middlesbrough star left Celtic in acrimonious circumstances.
The Brazilian midfielder departed Celtic Park in April after a bitterly disappointing season north of the border, and has now hit out at his former boss for his man management and coaching approach.
O'Neill has since left the hot-seat at The Bhoys due to family reasons, with Gordon Strachan taking over, and Juninho pulled no punches as he described how his hell unfolded with the Glasgow giants.
After initially promising much Juninho faded away, particularly with the emergence of young star Aidan McGeady, and accused O'Neill of ignoring and humiliating him in the early stages of his career in Scotland.
"I still don't know why Celtic bought me, I started that first match against Rangers without understanding what was expected of me because O'Neill had ignored me," said Juninho.
"But we won and people said I was the best player on the pitch.
"We played Hibernian in the league [four games later], it was 2-2 at half time and I had set up both our goals.
"In the dressing room at half time O'Neill starts showering me with insults.
"He was aggressive, impolite and he humiliated me, saying the way I played football was not the way it was meant to be played.
"He wanted to take away my respect in front of everyone else.
"People at the club told me this is just his way, that he shouts and swears without thinking of his consequences - and they were right.
"I went ahead thinking things would change, I was wrong."
Juninho, now back in his native Brazil with Palmeiras, also attacked O'Neill for remaining elusive from training ground sessions and adopting a 'crazy' approach to pre-match preparations.
However, despite his failure to find an accord with O'Neill, Juninho conceded that he did not have a problem with the former Leicester boss away from the pitch - and wished him luck in confronting his wife's illness.
"O'Neill didn't take the practice sessions, he only came in on Fridays to referee a friendly game," Juninho continued.
"That is unbelievable, what kind of coach does that?
"He is the first coach I have seen who does not give a team talk before the match which is crazy.
"He never talked much but was always authoritative, and yet I never had a problem with him away from football.
"He was not a friend but he was fine with me away from the pitch.
"From a football point of view my time at Celtic was very bad, much worse than I expected.
"I am not sorry that O'Neill has left the club but I wish him all the best for the personal problems he has."