KRIS COMMONS believes the game against Motherwell on Sunday proves the players are still fighting for the manager and Neil Lennon’s match day selection sent out a clear message to the squad going forward.
The former Celtic midfielder marvelled at his former boss dropping two ‘marquee’ players in Shane Duffy and Odsonne Edouard for the trip for Fir Park.
Both could only make the bench. Shane Duffy was an easy decision to make, he needed taken out the limelight and now has the international break to try and sort himself out.
Eddy, who has not long came back from having the virus didn’t look like himself at all against Prague. The Celtic manager showing nobody is immune to sitting on the bench if they’re not in-form.
Albian Ajeti got the nod and on the day, it looked like a good decision.
Celtic need players to perform on a weekly basis. Consistency hasn’t been our friend this term so far but it has to start now.
After the international break, Commons wants Celtic to find a rhythm, and has a good chance of doing so if the players think they’re place in the side is at stake every game.
Writing in his Mail column as cited by SunSport, Commons praised his former gaffer;
“After such a dreadful defeat to Sparta Prague in midweek, Celtic had absolutely no margin for error against Motherwell yesterday.
“In the context of what happened just three days previously, this was a massive result for the club and for Neil Lennon as manager.
“They ended up running out emphatic winners at Fir Park, putting to bed any claims that Lennon had lost the dressing room.
“Trust me, you don’t go and win 4-1 away from home if the players aren’t still fully supportive of the manager and giving 100 per cent for him.
“Lennon made some huge calls with his team selection against Motherwell. To leave Shane Duffy and Odsonne Edouard on the bench sent out a clear message.
“In the fullness of time, we might look back on that decision as being the first step to changing the mood and culture at the club
“To drop two of his marquee players for such a must-win game was a really gutsy call and, as the result showed, Lennon got it spot-on.
“To be honest, it probably wasn’t a difficult decision with Duffy. The big centre-half had another poor night against Sparta.
“Lennon indicated pre-match that he had a ‘duty of care’ to protect the player. He needed to take him out of the firing line and out of the spotlight.
“Duffy needs to use the international break to reset mentally and come back with the sort form he showed for Brighton in the Premier League. That’s why Celtic went all-out to get him.
“Dropping Duffy and Edouard shows the gloves are now off. It will be a huge wake-up call to the rest of the squad.
“It shows a ruthless streak within Lennon and that’s the sort of mentality he will now demand from his players moving forward.
“No player can now consider himself untouchable. Look at Scott Brown, even he’s been dropped and subbed off at times in recent weeks.
“You need leaders, warriors who you’d happily go into the trenches with. That’s the mentality Lennon is trying to create in the face of all the criticism from outside the club.
“Mohamed Elyounoussi ticks all the boxes in that respect. He took a lot of stick for being on his phone whilst sat in the stand against Sparta on Thursday.
“I actually felt some it was a bit unfair. Yeah, it didn’t look great, but it felt like Elyounoussi ended up being made the scapegoat for a poor team performance.
“But he bounced back in the best way possible against Motherwell yesterday and answered any questions about his commitment to Celtic.
“With Rangers absolutely battering Hamilton yesterday, Celtic need to kick on and settle into a rhythm after the international break.”