By Darren Bent

4th Jan, 2021 | 8:00pm

'Masterstroke' - Exclusive: Pundit blown away as Celtic image emerges from Dubai

Celtic are right to go to Dubai and soak up the sun rather than endure the frosty atmosphere from fans in Glasgow.

That is according to ex-England striker Darren Bent, who made his views about the controversial mid-season trip know in exclusive conversation with Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.

Celtic flew out to Dubai just hours after losing 1-0 to Rangers and falling 19 points behind their cross-city rivals in a title race that looks all but over.

The timing of the trip has drawn anger from their own fans and ridicule from others, especially after an image surfaced on Twitter of manager Neil Lennon and captain Scott Brown lounging and drinking by a pool.

But Bent is of the opposite opinion, saying that the holiday will come as blessed relief for Celtic players experiencing the pressure of a particularly taxing season.

He told Football Insider: “I’m all for the timing, personally. I think it’s a masterstroke.

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“I would get the team away from there because it’s doing them no favours being in this country.

“They’ve just lost the biggest game of the season. So what do you do? Do you stay in the country and take all the stick from the media and the fans?

“They’re going to be getting hammered by their own supporters, hammered by rangers supporters and hammered by neutral supporters…

“Do you got to training and potentially take stick from fans when you’re filling up your car at the petrol station? Do you deal with that, or do you take yourself away as a squad, regroup somewhere outside the country, relax and go from there?

“I fully understand it.”

A cursory social media search is enough to reveal that Celtic and opposition fans alike are not impressed with the timing of the trip.

Manager Neil Lennon, however, insisted “It’s not a break, it’s a training camp. It’s just a change of scenery. We just hope to come back refreshed and ready to go.”

In other news, senior Celtic players are said to be shocked that an-all-but-done transfer was scuppered at the last minute after the target agreed new terms with his club.