Football

Lennon takes blame for defeat

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Neil Lennon will take all the blame after his Celtic side flopped in Europe again with a 3-1 Europa League defeat by Sion at the Stade de Tourbillon.

In an evening of embarrassment for Scottish football, both Old Firm clubs exited the competition at the play-off stage.

Lennon, who now has to prepare for the trip to St Mirren Park on Sunday in the SPL, takes full responsibility. The Irishman said: "The buck stops at me. I picked the team so there is no point in blaming the players or anyone else. I am the manager so I have to take responsibility."

He added: "I felt we were good enough to get through over two games and we prepared as well as we could for it.

"My job means everything to me. I am not going to get myself in to a tizzy about it or have a panic but I know that there are people in the club who are disappointed so I have to try to turn things round pretty quickly.

"I don't think it is the end of the world. It is for the European side of things but domestically we are fine."

Rangers lost 3-2 on aggregate to Slovenian side Maribor after a 1-1 draw at Ibrox with Hearts' goalless draw at Tottenham a mere formality after their 5-0 thrashing by the Londoners last week.

The Celtic boss, though, will take no succour from those depressing results and knows fingers will point at him after losing in the qualifiers of the Champions League and Europa League last season, and in the wake of the shock Clydesdale Bank Premier League defeat at home to St Johnstone last weekend.

The small band of Celtic fans who made the trip to Switzerland vented their fury at the end of the game, which ended 3-1 on aggregate, to the extent that skipper Scott Brown could not cajole his team-mates to go over to applaud them at the end of the game.

There were also some ugly scenes when the players left the stadium to board the team bus.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Europa League
Tottenham Hotspur
European News
Football
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Neil Lennon
Scott Brown
Scott Brown
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