Football

Irate Lennon blasts players

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A furious Neil Lennon told his Celtic players some of their Parkhead careers were all but over after accusing them of showing no "bottle, desire and hunger" in Saturday's shock Active Nation Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Ross County.

Caretaker manager Lennon read the riot act to his squad after locking them in the dressing room for 15 minutes following the 2-0 loss at Hampden, as the club's miserable season hit a new low. The former Parkhead captain directed much of his ire at misfiring strikers Georgios Samaras and Marc-Antoine Fortune, who he claimed had failed to put their bodies on the line for the cause.

Revealing he was "past angry", Lennon - who was handed the reins following Tony Mowbray's sacking last month - said: "Whether I'm here or not next season, I told them I'm pretty sure some of them won't be."

He added: "People talk about Tony not instilling passion in the team. Those are things you can't give the players. You can get them motivated and they'll pull the wool over your eyes.

"There was only one team out there who wanted to win, and that was Ross County. I'd like to congratulate them - they deserved it."

Lennon kept faith with the same outfield line-up from his first two games in charge.

"Half of them never turned up," he said.

"I'm sick of seeing our players fall over. I'm sick of seeing strikers not want to go in where it hurts and score a goal for the team.

"We've gone out of every competition with an absolute whimper."

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Marc-Antoine Fortune
Neil Lennon
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