Scottish football: Neil Lennon admitted today that he regrets his row with Celtic supporters, but insisted that he will always back his players in the face of criticism if he feels it is unjustified.
The Hoops boss, well known for his fiery temper, threatened to quit the club on Sunday after a spat with angry fans following Celtic’s surprise 1-0 defeat in the SPL to Inverness.
Lennon, whose side travel to Hearts tomorrow night, admitted: “I regret it, yes, of course. It’s not something I want to do.
“But if I think it (criticism) is unjustified I will voice my opinion. I am defending my team. I know it is difficult for fans because they are passionate about the team and want them to do well but sometimes it doesn’t help.
“I wasn’t getting any stick personally. It was directed towards the team and I was defending the team because they are giving me everything.
“I think the world of my players and think the world of my supporters as well. But if I was the manager of Accrington Stanley I would do exactly the same time — although the way the results are going, I might soon be.”
Lennon welcomes back defender Kelvin Wilson (flu), but Charlie Mulgrew (virus) and midfielder Paddy McCourt (knock) are doubts. Hearts are without left-back Danny Grainger, who has torn his anterior cruciate ligament.
Jambos manager John McGlynn believes his team are well-placed to pounce if Celtic treat them lightly.
“When they come to Tynecastle they know they have to be at the top of their game,” he said.
Elsewhere St Johnstone host Hibernian, with both teams well aware that a win and a Celtic slip-up could see either leapfrog the Parkhead club.
Meanwhile Aberdeen are to have millions of pounds wiped off their debt after two major shareholders agreed to write off nearly £6 million in loans owed to them by the club. The agreement will be subject to approval from shareholders at the club’s AGM next month.