Alan Hutton has insisted that Neil Lennon’s comments about the Celtic team’s fitness should be of great concern to everyone at Parkhead.
The former Rangers and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football insider Associate editor Russell Edge admitted he was “baffled” by how the likes of Leigh Griffiths, Tom Rogic and Albian Ajeti had failed to update despite the start of the new season.
Talk to PLZ Football After Sunday’s 1-1 draw with St Johnstone, Lennon revealed that he felt some members of the Bhoys were not fit enough and had been “for a long time”.
“It’s a two-way street – the players have to play better.”
Neil Lennon says his players need “support” after St. Johnstone’s draw comes with two wins in their last twelve 👇
– PLZ Soccer (@PLZSoccer) December 6, 2020
The Bhoys are now 13 points behind league-leading Rangers and will see their Europa League campaign come to an end after Thursday’s home game against Lille.
Lennon has lambasted Leigh Griffiths for his return to training out of form this summer, but despite his return to the squad, the Scotland international is still used only sparingly at Parkhead.
Hutton admitted he couldn’t understand how some players still weren’t up to par at Parkhead and insisted it just put extra strain on some of their mainstays.
When asked if he thinks Lennon’s comments were extremely concerning for Celtic, Hutton said Football insider: “Well that’s for me, at the end of the day he’s the manager, he’s got the backstage staff, he’s got the fitness coaches.
“I mean, how has Leigh Griffiths not been in good shape this summer and he’s still not in good shape now?” It confuses me, I know myself, as a former player you train hard whether you play or you don’t play.
“You play bounce games behind closed doors. He came out and said other boys, obviously Ajeti has been spending a lot of time on the bench, is he watching full speed? Rogic came back, can you last 90 minutes?
“There are all these questions and what happens is it puts more pressure on people like McGregor, Brown – these boys who play week after week – to do a lot of racing.
“There will come a time when they’ll have to say, ‘Well, it’s me, I’m done, I’m tired. I need a break.’ You can’t just put all your hopes on these mainstay players. There’s Lennon saying they’re not fit enough, which I can’t believe.
Lennon said PLZ Football: “We need a little boast in the missing team by the minute.
“Some players are not fit enough and have been for a long time. Some players just aren’t in good shape and they need a bit of a breather at some point and some support from me, but again it’s a two-way street, players need better to play.
In other Celtic news, Paul Robinson advises club chiefs to graduate 28 years in January after a £ 2.5million payout is revealed.