By Alex McLeish

29th Oct, 2020 | 12:00pm

McLeish Exclusive: This may be real reason Barkas axed from Celtic XI

Alex McLeish has suggested Neil Lennon will be concerned with the “body language” of Vasilis Barkas at Celtic.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Scotland manager questioned whether the Hoops’ coaching staff had seen a drastic loss of confidence from the 26-year-old goalkeeper on the training ground.

Barkas was left out completely from the squad in Sunday’s 3-3 draw with Aberdeen as Scott Bain started between the sticks.

Lennon told the Scottish Sun that the Greek international had suffered a back injury in the 3-1 defeat to AC Milan last week.

However, McLeish has suggested that the Hoops boss may have looked to protect the shot-stopper by giving him a game off following some shaky displays between the sticks.

McLeish told Football Insider: “I’ve always kind of been an advocate of trying to keep the nucleus of the team tight but there does come a day when you’re looking, analysing people’s mentality and thinking: ‘Has he lost a bit of confidence?’

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“Possibly they’ve seen the body language – I don’t know Barkas – but maybe inside Celtic Park and the training centre they may have thought he maybe needs to be taken out of the firing line a little bit.

“It’s tough coming to play for the Old Firm, there’s been famous players throughout the years who have struggled to make it. At the end of the day, the manager’s the one who’s got to make the decision.”

Barkas has played 14 times for the Bhoys since his move from AEK Athens this summer.

He came under heavy fire for failing to save Connor Goldson’s header in the 2-0 defeat to Rangers.

In other Celtic news, Hoops target tipped for January move after huge reveal.