Frank McAvennie claims Celtic owner Dermot Desmond has stood by manager Neil Lennon as a result of fan unrest.

The Parkhead legend, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, admitted that while he “feels sorry for fans” he cannot advocate the scenes seen outside Celtic Park over the past two weeks.

A 1-1 draw against St Johnstone on Sunday resulted in protests outside the stadium for the second consecutive week.

Neil Lennon’s side are on a barren run of form which has seen them win only two of their previous eleven fixtures across all competitions.

Despite this, the club’s board reiterated their support for the manager and the backroom staff in a statement on Monday, stated their position will be “reviewed in the new year”.

When asked by Football Insider for his thoughts on why Lennon has not yet been sacked, McAvennie said: “I think the situation with the fans protests have not helped.

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“I think Dermot has taken a stance on it, that the sections of fans protesting do not run the club.

“I feel for the fans because they have never had a challenge. The fans have not accepted that they might not win and Rangers are not going away.

“It is the first time the players have had a challenge as well and they have failed to step up.

“We can all blame the manager, that is the easy route but the players are not even playing at 50 per cent of what they are capable of. The players have set their own standards, they are so high and if the do not reach them the fans are going to have a go.”  

In other Celtic news, pundit points finger at three Hoops players embarrassingly out of shape.