Lennon lays into his Celtic players after Europa League hammering

Neil Lennon lays into his Celtic players after ‘unacceptable’ Europa League hammering by Sparta Prague and insists team showed ‘lack of application and lack of hunger’

  • Celtic were left faced after getting hammered at home by Sparta Prague 
  • Lukas Julis scored a hat-trick at Celtic Park as the Scottish giants lost 4-1 
  • Celtic are now bottom of Group H with just one point from three matches played
  • Neil Lennon pulled no punches with his post-match words and fumed at his side

Neil Lennon laid into his Celtic players after a chastening 4-1 Europa League defeat by Sparta Prague at Parkhead

The Czech Republic side had a clutch of players missing through injury and Covid-19 issues but they took the lead in the 26th minute through Lukas Julis who scored a second just before the interval.

Parkhead substitute Leigh Griffiths pulled a goal back in the 64th minute but Julis tapped in a breakaway goal for his hat-trick before substitute Ladislav Krejci headed in a fourth in the final minute to complete a dispiriting night for Lennon’s side who have one point from nine at the bottom of Group H.

Neil Lennon was both livid and exasperated on the sideline as Sparta Prague defeated his men

The Celtic boss said: ‘It’s poor. We started okay then got really ragged with the ball. Our passing, technique, just got really ragged.

‘I keep saying if we don’t defend set plays properly we’ll get punished and that is exactly what happened.’

Lennon agreed with midfielder Callum McGregor’s description of the defeat as embarrassing.

The Northern Irishman said: ‘Of course it is. It’s unacceptable. A lack of application, lack of hunger.

Celtic lost the match 4-1 and Lennon has accused his players of showing a ‘lack of hunger’

‘There has to be a culture change. I have to change it quickly and the players have to change quickly because it’s not acceptable.

‘I need to get them more hungry, more on point, back to basics. We didn’t do basics well enough, didn’t use our bodies, didn’t run. All the things that Sparta did.

‘We need to be far more aggressive as individuals. As a manager I have to accept responsibility but players need to look at themselves as individuals.

‘We got back into it at 2-1 and looked like we showed character but the third goal is too easy.

The defeat sees Celtic rock bottom of Group H and increasingly unlikely to qualify 

‘We need to get back to showing a bit more humility, working hard on the training ground.

‘I didn’t see that coming after Sunday, a great performance, four-day break.

‘We didn’t do the basics well enough. A set play, they’ve hardly been in our half.

‘A corner isn’t even that well hit. But we should be there for first contact, be more aggressive with defending. We bang the drum about that all the time.’

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