By Noel Whelan

28th Nov, 2020 | 1:00pm

Celtic Exclusive: Ex-striker has spotted big signal Lennon is 'desperate'

Noel Whelan has urged Neil Lennon to stop “chopping and changing” defenders in a bid to turn things around at Celtic.

The former Leeds and Aberdeen forward, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has insisted the Northern Irish boss has looked “desperate” by constantly swapping his backline.

Lennon, who dropped Shane Duffy from the Celtic starting XI earlier this month, has continued to chop and change at the back with Kristoffer Ajer, Nir Bitton, Christopher Jullien, Jeremie Frimpong and Hatem Abd Elhamed all dropping in and out over the last couple of weeks.

Diego Laxalt has been the only defensive mainstay across all competitions for the Hoops with eight consecutive starts under his belt.

Whelan has insisted the Bhoys need some “continuity” at the back and that Lennon needs to make the tough decision of choosing who is going to start week in, week out.

Whelan told Football Insider: I think sometimes that’s a sign of a manager under pressure and a bit desperate at times, trying to chop and change, chop and change.

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“He’s with them week in, week out, he must know who his favourite two are, who the strongest pairing is, because the longer you go and keep chopping and changing, you’re getting no continuity as a backline whatsoever.

“He’s got to make a strong decision, and he’s got to stick to it. People are going to have to be dropped and he’s gonna have to stick by it. This is what managers’ jobs are all about, they’re difficult but you’ve got to do it.

“He’s got to choose a partnership that’s going to be in the team for longer than one to two matches, he’s got to put trust in them.”

Of Celtic’s centre-back options, Kristoffer Ajer has featured the most with 19 appearances under his belt.

In other Celtic news, Alan Hutton admits his heart goes out to Hoops star who is struggling with the pressure at Parkhead.