By Alex McLeish

27th Nov, 2020 | 7:00am

Exclusive: McLeish verdict on Celtic sacking Lennon after shock statement

Alex McLeish has admitted he has a great amount of “sympathy and empathy” for Neil Lennon amid growing pressure at Celtic following their early European exit.

The former Rangers and Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has urged the Hoops boss to ignore the “keyboard warriors” as he tries to improve the club’s fortunes.

Celtic fans group the Green Brigade issued a shock statement on Wednesday calling for the club to sack Lennon despite winning every domestic trophy available to him during his second spell at the club, including consecutive league titles.

The Bhoys currently sit 11 points behind table-toppers Rangers, albeit with two games in hand, and they were dumped out of the Europa League on Thursday night with two games to spare after a second successive 4-1 defeat by Sparta Prague.

McLeish has urged supporters to understand Lennon’s position at Parkhead and insisted the Celtic boss needed to ignore the doubters.

McLeish told Football Insider: You would like to think there was understanding but I’ve been through it as well.

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“I’ve been through it in the year-and-a-half in the Scotland job, trying to appease the fans, trying to get a winning team, a rhythm and introduce young players, that kind of thing and, you know, it is very difficult.

“Listen, you’ve got to respect the network, the social network, the media network – it is with us to stay and it is here to stay, it’s part of the game. If you get immersed into reading it all and the keyboard warriors, if you read every single comment, then you’re going to have sleepless nights.

“We have sleepless nights anyway, managers, as a result when you lose games, it’s very difficult to sleep and not toss and turn about the whole thing because we care and that’s why I’ve got absolute sympathy and empathy for Neil Lennon.

“I’ve been a manager, I’ve been in that situation and I know when the pressure’s really high, we’re only human.” 

In other Celtic news, pundit claims Neil Lennon may be ‘one match away from the sack’.