Under-fire Celtic boss Neil Lennon set to take charge against AC Milan in Europa League clash on Thursday with Parkhead powerbroker Dermot Desmond resisting demands from angry fans to sack him
- Sunday’s defeat by Ross County sparked angry demonstrations by fans
- Lennon took charge of training as normal at Lennoxtown on Monday morning
- Desmond is ready to offer him a last chance to turn the club’s season around
Sunday’s 2-0 reverse to the Ross County in the last 16 of the Betfred Cup saw Lennon’s team relinquish their grip on the domestic honours after four years and extend a dismal sequence of results to just two wins in 10 games.
The loss, the fourth in succession at Celtic Park, sparked angry demonstrations outside the ground with hundreds of fans gathering to demand the manager’s sacking.
Neil Lennon refused to quit as Celtic manager on Sunday despite the anger of fans spilling over
Amid increased security, though, the Northern Irishman took charge of training as normal at Lennoxtown on Monday morning after the club’s power brokers refused to accede to mob rule by firing him.
Lennon’s future will be part of a debrief with Dermot Desmond, the club’s largest shareholder, and chief executive Peter Lawwell ahead of the trip to Milan.
But Parkhead sources insist there is no suggestion of a change being made at this juncture – despite the growing clamour for time to be called on Lennon’s second spell in charge.
Last week, Lennon said he felt he had the unequivocal backing of the board and barring a radical and unexpected departure from that position, he will still be in the dug-out in the San Siro on Thursday for the penultimate Europa League game.
Irrespective of the result on Northern Italy, speculation surrounding the 49-year-old’s future seems only set to continue.
Majority shareholder Dermot Desmond (left) is ready to stand behind Lennon for the timebeing
An angry mob of around 200 Celtic supporters came to demonstrate their fury at Parkhead
Although scheduled to face Hearts in the delayed Scottish Cup final later this month, a match that could see him become just the fourth manager in Celtic’s history to complete the Treble, the former skipper’s position is under intense scrutiny.
Having been knocked out of the Champions League at the second hurdle by Ferencvaros, his side were eliminated from the Europa League with two games yet to play.
Already 11 points behind Rangers in the title race, albeit with two games in hand, Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to County was a trigger point for many to call for a change at the helm.