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Neil Lennon insists he has the full support of Celtic leaders after a 4-1 defeat at Sparta Prague

Neil Lennon believes he will maintain the unequivocal support of the club’s top power brokers after a video conference early in the morning.

A 4-1 loss against Sparta Prague on Thursday ended Celtic’s interest in the Europa League with two games to go.

A mirror image of the loss to the Czechs at Celtic Park three weeks ago, it extended the club’s gloomy recent streak to just two wins in nine games – adding tension to Lennon.

Neil Lennon said he has the full support of Celtic leaders Peter Lawwell and Dermot Desmond

Neil Lennon said he has the full support of Celtic leaders Peter Lawwell and Dermot Desmond

Already 11 points behind Rangers in the title race, a number of supporters are demanding a change in the hot seat in the hope that it will turn the tide in fortunes.

But Lennon, whose side will face Ross County in the Betfred Cup tomorrow, is convinced that key decision-makers at Parkhead still have faith in him to find a way out of the current slump.

“I had a long talk with Peter (Lawwell) and Dermot (Desmond) on a Zoom call and we are completely united,” he said.

‘We are all together and we are determined to make it a good season.

Lennon is under pressure after Celtic's 4-1 defeat to Sparta Prague and Europa League exit

Lennon is under pressure after Celtic's 4-1 defeat to Sparta Prague and Europa League exit

Lennon is under pressure after Celtic’s 4-1 defeat to Sparta Prague and Europa League exit

Celtic were already 11 points behind rival Rangers in the Scottish Premier League title race

Celtic were already 11 points behind rival Rangers in the Scottish Premier League title race

Celtic were already 11 points behind rival Rangers in the Scottish Premier League title race

‘It was a very productive conversation and I have their full support.

They’ve been with me from day one – from the good times to what would be considered a bad time.

“It’s hugely encouraging to get their support, but it’s not surprising. I have a good relationship with them.

“They’re not happy with things, no doubt about it, and they’re honest, but they believe in me and I believe in them.”

Lennon acknowledges that the conversation with his paymasters has been candid and says he is very comfortable with the nature of his working relationships.

It’s always like this with Dermot. He is honest with me and I am with him. The same goes for Peter, ”the Northern Irishman added.

Desmond (left) and Lawwell (right) had a Zoom conversation with Lennon early in the morning on Friday

Desmond (left) and Lawwell (right) had a Zoom conversation with Lennon early in the morning on Friday

Desmond (left) and Lawwell (right) had a Zoom conversation with Lennon early in the morning on Friday

Lennon said he had an 'honest' conversation with Lawwell and Desmond about Celtic's form

Lennon said he had an 'honest' conversation with Lawwell and Desmond about Celtic's form

Lennon said he had an ‘honest’ conversation with Lawwell and Desmond about Celtic’s form

‘We don’t level cracks here. We’re not saying everything is okay, it clearly isn’t. We are honest enough with each other to argue about that.

‘They try to help me and I try to help the players. It was not such a huge ordeal for me. ‘

Lennon believes the issues around his side are mainly psychological – with an expert in the field recently commissioned to work with the players.

Citing the negative impact of the pandemic, the Celtic manager also hopes that further practical steps can be taken to make his players feel more comfortable in their work environment.

“We’re trying to make some adjustments at Lennoxtown to create a lounge area, if you want to call it that,” he explained. ‘They were able to relax there after the training and we currently do not have that facility with Covid.

Celtic's defeat to Sparta Prague means they have only won two of their previous nine matches

Celtic's defeat to Sparta Prague means they have only won two of their previous nine matches

Celtic’s defeat to Sparta Prague means they have only won two of their previous nine matches

‘The changing rooms are divided, just like the dining times, so that they don’t see each other until they get to the field.

‘That’s difficult, so we’re looking at different ways to get them together in a socially distant environment.

‘It can help them get to know each other a little better.

“Every club is in the same boat, but it may have affected some more than others.”

With the remaining Europa League games against AC Milan and Lille now academic, Lennon hopes to gain some much-needed momentum from a friendlier domestic schedule that sees them play at home five times before the end of the year.

“We are very strong and durable,” he continued. I believe in the process, but the players struggle with any belief and confidence.

Lennon said the situation was far from 'terminal' and Celtic must now focus on the competition

Lennon said the situation was far from 'terminal' and Celtic must now focus on the competition

Lennon said the situation was far from ‘terminal’ and Celtic must now focus on the competition

They played quite well for large parts of the match in Prague. The backlog flattered them. But that’s the way it goes for you if you go through a sticky patch.

That’s what it is – this isn’t terminal in any way. Europe is now over. We have to look at the domestic games.

“The other two Europa League games might give me a chance to brush things up and get players some games.

‘I’ve talked to the players for a long time and what they need now is my support. I will give them energy and fully believe that they are good players.

‘They have proven that. Class is permanent and form is temporary. They will be fine sooner than later. ‘

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