'Hysteria around Celtic is too much' says ex-Hoops midfielder in defence of Neil Lennon

Ipswich manager Paul Lambert says the hysteria around Celtic’s dip in form and pursuit of 10-in-a-row is over the top.

Paul Lambert played for Celtic alongside Lennon under Martin O'Neill.
Paul Lambert played for Celtic alongside Lennon under Martin O'Neill.

The former international midfielder won the league with the Hoops to deny Rangers a 10th league title in a row in 1998 but says the pressure of playing in Glasgow creates an atmosphere of hysteria and over-reaction.

He’s seen Celtic boss Neil Lennon come under pressure with one win in six games – but Lambert says his former team-mate will pull through.

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He said: “This group has won nine years of unbelievable success – nine years.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon during the UEFA Europa League match between Celtic and Sparta Prague which ended in a 4-1 defeat (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

"The hysteria around the football club is too much because they’ve lost a few games. They’re still well in everything, they’ve got the league and Scottish Cup final to come – Europe is tough but the hysteria of someone under pressure after six games, after winning nearly everything in sight for nine years – I know he wasn’t there for the full nine years but he’s won a hell of a lot.

"I don’t think it’s right, the hysteria around it.”

Lambert knows first hand the pressures of playing for Celtic and added: “There’s a massive hysteria in Glasgow – you're one bad pass away from being an absolute nightmare of a player. It’s a difficult place to play if things don’t go well for you.

“The hysteria around the whole football club – they’ve lost a few games. They’ve won everything in sight domestically, shown an incredible longevity and Lenny’s only had a little blip. One win in six. By Celtic standards that can’t happen but that’ll come back again.”

Speaking on BBC Sportsound he backed his former colleague and said: “My big issue is Neil Lennon losing a few games and people saying he has to go. He will come through this – Peter Lawwell is not a silly guy, he knows where Celtic are and where they’ve to get to. The hysteria of ten in a row, you have that every day at Celtic – you have to win.”

Fellow pundit Allan Preston agreed: “I think the hysteria over Neil is ridiculous and having polls in newspaper about him is ridiculous.

"It is a nonsense – he is one match 90 minutes away from being the quadruple treble winning manager. Everyone has to relax.”

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