The players have “downed tools” and let the manager down badly at Celtic — “none are good enough to play in the Premier League,” says Frank Mcavennie.

That ex-Celtic forward spoke exclusively to Football Insider with the Hoops 20 points behind runaway leaders Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Yet the brunt of the negative press surrounding Celtic at present is focused not on the players but the manager and the executive branch.

Chief executive Peter Lawwell was forced into an embarrassing Youtube apology following Celtic’s widely-criticised mid-season trip to Dubai and Neil Lennon’s press conference meltdown only exacerbated the situation.

McAvennie, however, believes that the players should be taking some responsibility after Celtic’s four-match winless streak.

“All of those players think they are better than what they are,” he told Football Insider.

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“They think they can go and play in the Premier League, well let me tell you something, none of those boys are good enough to play in the Premier League at the moment, not the way they are playing.

“Managers will look at how they have downed tools and they will not sign you because you could do it with them.

“Players forget that. Managers are considering everything. They have let Lenny down big time. If I did not like a manager, it did not matter once I crossed the white line. You play for yourself, your pride and your fans.

“It is nothing to do with the manager. I always gave 100 per cent, no matter who was in charge. These boys are strolling around and do not even want the ball. It is wrong.”

Celtic’s nine-year hold on the Scottish Premiership looks like it is nearing its end.

The Bhoys trail Rangers by 20 points, though that will be cut to 12 if Neil Lennon’s side can win their two games in hand.

In other news, a football finance expert has hailed Celtic’s transfer strategy as a masterstroke.