Uk news Celtic derby aftermath in quotes from Neil Lennon, players and pundits MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Defiant messages were mixed with condemnation after Celtic turned in a display to forget
Breaking News ! A dire performance against Rangers has left Celtic facing an avalanche of criticism. Their 2-0 defeat at Celtic Park means they now lie four points behind their rivals in the Premiership title race, albeit with a game in hand. Chris Sutton called their showing "gutless", while manager Neil Lennon lamented the loss of "poor goals" and bemoaned the lack of a spark. Callum McGregor admitted the fans have "every right to point fingers", but celebrity fan Rod Stewart sounded a note of defiance. Here's how pundits, the media, the players and the manager have reacted to a disappointing result for the champions. NEIL LENNON "The win gives Rangers a lift obviously. It’s early in the season though and you can’t listen to all the noise outside. “Can they respond? Absolutely. They’ve done it before. “But they can’t live on the past. This is the present and we’ve got a title race on our hands and we have to roll out sleeves up and do better. (Image: Craig Williamson/SNS Group) “I have no idea if these (Old Firm) games will be vital. If they are then we will have to make up for it over time. “We’ve got a game in hand we have to win and assess where we are from there. “You can’t base everything on four games a season, you have to be consistent all year. “We gave away poor goals. That was the game in a nutshell. It was really poor from a set play early on so we were bitterly disappointed with that. “From then on we did okay. We had a great chance to equalise with Moi and I thought we deserved to come in at least level at half time. “The second goal was really poor, the second phase from a corner wasn’t dealt with. We didn’t stop the cross and I felt that was the difference between the sides. “Rangers defended their box better than us. “Of course we felt we had enough. There’s nothing you can do about players that are not available. “I thought we ran out ideas in the second half. The subs didn’t really have an impact as you can see they were not fit enough. “We really needed a spark. “I thought we lacked a bit of experience today and we’re a little naive in some aspects. Read More Related Articles Who's doing Celtic in and why it's not Neil Lennon, by Neil Lennon “Moi had a great chance and should have scored. He had more time than he realised an that would have made it 1-1. “I thought we were all right first half but then conceded another poor goal. “You can examine it all you want. We should have done better and it meant we were chasing the game. “Rangers were comfortable at 2-0 and I didn’t think we looked like scoring. “We didn’t get in behind them enough. We lacked a bit of penetration and a bit of belief. “We had big players missing but we still have enough players out there to get something out of the game. “There was a lack of quality in the final third. “For me it felt a lot flatter than normal (with no fans). That’s understandable and it takes away a massive part of the game. “But that wasn’t the reason we lost the game. We lost it because Rangers defended their box better than we did.” CALLUM MCGREGOR “The fans will be frustrated and as players we’re hugely disappointed. “They have every right to point fingers and we have to accept that because in these games the bigger picture is never seen. “There will be a massive reaction and we have to deal with that. “What I would say is that we have to stay calm and we have to stay together. “The sooner we can get them back into the stadium, the better, as they are a massive help to us. “We have to keep the faith, trust the team and trust the manager and what we’re doing. (Image: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images) “We have been here a load of times before and have a load of experience.
. “We have guys in the changing room who have just lost their first derby and it’s a horrific experience. “For the rest of us, it’s that same feeling. It’s up to the experienced boys, manager and backroom staff to get around them and make sure we stick together. “When you lose an early goal it sets you back in a big game. “Credit to Rangers as they changed their game-plan. Every week we see them with their two full-backs really high but they sat in and protected the middle of the pitch. “They did their homework as well and we have to be honest in that sense. “They set up their game-plan and they carried it out well to win the game. We have to be more on the front foot when it comes to these games." ANDY WALKER Speaking on Sky Sports, former Celtic striker Walker said: "I think (Vasilis) Barkas could be better. "I know it bounces in front of him but he gets a hand to it and I think if you're a top goalkeeper you make a save there. "I'm not asking him to get hold of it but keep it out, push it to one side. "I've yet to see Barkas make an important save for Celtic, and this is a big game." CHRIS SUTTON Speaking on BBC 606, the ex-Celtic centre-forward said: "Rangers thoroughly deserved their victory. "I can moan all evening about Celtic having so many players out but the players who played should have performed better.
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"The scoreline flattered Celtic and Rangers deserved to win by more. "That's the truth. At 2-0 Rangers deserved to win by more." STEVEN NAISMITH On Sunday night's Sportscene, Hearts striker Naismith talked about Celtic's failure to deal with injuries and illness. He said: "Without a doubt they (the missing players) would have made a difference, but on the flipside of that Celtic have spent a lot of money on a lot of the boys who were in the team. "A lot of the players have had big transfers whether it be to Celtic or coming on loan, and Old Firms are about who wants it more. "There's been so many in the past - I've been involved in so many myself - where you're the underdogs and you go out and just that will to win, and you fight. Celtic looked more nervous than Rangers and Rangers seemed in control." MAURICE ROSS Speaking on BBC Sportsound, former Rangers defender Ross said: "They are talking about 'Rangers defended their box'. Rangers didn't need to defend their box. For me, the way Celtic played it their understanding of 3-5-2 looks very basic. "Rangers were in second gear yesterday. If you could super-impose a different coloured strip onto Celtic yesterday, it didn't look like a Rangers v Celtic game, did it?
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"I thought Rangers were in full control and I think Rangers right now are by far the best team in Scotland. "As soon as I saw the teamlines I thought the writing was on the wall for Celtic. I think Celtic have got a good squad but that starting eleven is the weakest I have seen in 20 years." ROD STEWART The rock star called Record Sport's hotline to insist Lennon's side will bounce back, saying: “To my dear Rangers fans, top marks to the Gers on Saturday as you were by far the better team. “But can you imagine your boys without Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos, Scott Arfield, Steve Davis, Connor Goldson and Glen Kamara? "We were decimated. It’s not an excuse, just a fact. We’ll be back. Sir Rod.” MEDIA "Neil Lennon's 'Thunder' was the perfect pick-me-up after Brendan Rodgers' exit but it's more damp squib than big bang this season. "Celtic can still cut the gap at the top to just two points if they win their game in hand but Rangers look a more complete side and it's now on Lennon to find an answer as his side failed to register a shot on target." - Record Sport "It would be an exaggeration to suggest Lennon is feeling heat but rumblings of discontent have been apparent since a painful Champions League exit to Ferencvaros. "After years of domestic dominance, perhaps it is natural that Celtic’s following find bumps in the road difficult to handle.
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"These are very early days but, in a campaign where disruption looks inevitable, Rangers’ four-point Premiership lead feels significant. Celtic’s game in hand offers them only minimal consolation." - The Guardian "For the champions, depleted in numbers and shorn of inspiration, this was a dismal loss. "Even allowing for the absence of so many go-to men, the failure to have a single shot on target at home in the big derby was an illustration of their passiveness. "Rangers won at their ease with two goals from a centre-half, both of them from point-blank range in the heart of a confused Celtic defence." - BBC Scotland "The time when Celtic appeared to be too much for arch-rivals Rangers appears to be over.
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"The champions for the last nine years lost a home Old Firm for the second time in succession. With the victory, Rangers, unbeaten this season, strengthen their lead in the Scottish Premiership. "Gerrard's team is now on 29 points: four more than Celtic, which still has a game in hand. It should be clear that a historic tenth league title in a row is absolutely no certainty for Celtic." - Dutch outlet VI
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