Danny Mills has leaped to the defence of the underfire Celtic squad after they were pictured drinking beer while on their winter training break to Dubai.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former England defender suggested a couple of beers will help with team spirit and allow the players to get any issues they may have “off their chest”.

The Hoops jetted off to the Middle East after their 1-0 defeat to Rangers on Saturday and the timing of the trip has been criticised as Scotland entered a new lockdown period.

A photo of captain Scott Brown and Neil Lennon drinking beer also emerged on Twitter to criticism from a significant section of Hoops fans.

But Mills has insisted “there is no real harm” in drinking the occasional beer but admitted it was not a good look for Lennon.

He told Football Insider“Teams go out there for a bit of training and a bit of relaxation and team bonding.

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“What are you supposed to do in the afternoon? Let’s say you’ve trained from nine to 12 it’s a long session, you’ve then done your recovery and a little gym session.

“We’re talking about a snapshot of the players maybe having a couple of beers with a meal. It’s not like they’re falling out of nightclubs or falling out of here, there, or whatever.

“Again it doesn’t look great but from a club point of view, from an athlete’s point of view, there’s no real harm in it. One beer is not going to affect performance.

“If it starts to relax people and they start to have a chat with each other and get things off their chest that’s the whole point of it.

“What do you expect people to do? To go there to train, go back in their rooms, stay in their room and not go out? That’s the whole point of going somewhere nice, to sit, get a bit of sunshine and get the feel-good factor again.”

In other news, a top pundit has told Lennon to re-sign a Celtic-daft player reportedly desperate to return.