Celtic Exclusive: McLeish verdict on Lennon 'undermining' Lawwell
Neil Lennon has undermined Celtic chief Peter Lawwell by continuing to defend the warm-weather training camp in Dubai.
That is the view of former Rangers and Scotland manager Alex McLeish who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted he would have kept quiet about the whole situation after the chief executive’s comments last week.
Lawwell issued a public statement apologising to supporters for the club’s trip to the UAE and insisted the decision to travel was a “mistake”.
However, speaking at his pre-match press conference this week, as quoted by Glasgow Live, Lennon insisted he was “not apologising for going out there” in another passionate defence of the club’s decision.
McLeish has admitted he found it “strange” to hear the Northern Irish boss continue to back the trip after the Parkhead chief had admitted the Hoops were in the wrong.
Asked if he thought Lennon had undermined Lawwell’s statement, McLeish told Football Insider: “Well, yeah. Neil’s obviously trying to give the reasons why and all that stuff, say why they went but when Peter Lawwell, your boss, comes and says that it was probably the wrong decision, then I think you have to move on from that, don’t keep it turning over in the press.
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“Neil’s been defiant and wants to protect his own corner – well, not his own corner to be fair, Celtic’s in general, and Peter’s got a different stance on it.
“I think, I don’t know if there was a crossover in communications but it does seem a bit strange that Neil has come out after Peter saying we shouldn’t have done it and Neil saying that it was done with good intentions.
“Yes, we do accept that, but it definitely wasn’t one that, even when you’re out there you’d be saying: ‘Right guys, head down, not be seen, get on with stuff and let’s get this done dusted and get back to the UK, because it doesn’t feel that it’s been the right decision.'”
Celtic have had two players test positive for Coronavirus after the trip and 13 first-team stars were forced into self-isolation as a result.