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Lennon forced to defend his Celtic managerial record

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has hit back at former Hoops striker Andy Walker over his criticism of the team's Champions League performance and Lennon's transfer record. Lennon, without naming Walker, has reacted angrily in an interview posted on the club's official website.

The Irishman said: "I am not surprised at the criticism that has come but I am surprised at the areas where it has come from.

"I picked up a tabloid today and it was ex-players who were wearing a Celtic shirt at a promotional event for Tennent's and getting paid good money for it and then going ahead and putting the boot into the team, the club, the board and myself.

"I can't have that and will not accept that. One particular player criticised my signing policy.

"I said I was trying to bring British and Irish players into the club which I have done - Joe Ledley, Charlie Mulgrew, Daryl Murphy and Gary Hooper.

"I did try to go after (Jimmy) Bullard, (David) James and (Sol) Campbell but I was unsuccessful with that.

"But all he could think about were the Israelis, South Koreans and Mexicans, who I think will enhance and improve the club anyway. So he is a bit economical with the truth there."

Lennon continued: "He said we went out of the competition with a whimper.

"That's his opinion - and he also said we didn't have a sustained amount of pressure and there was a lack of crosses against Braga, which was, again, a falsehood.

"We put 37 crosses in. We scored from two and had 65% possession. I am not big on stats, but I have to use these to back up what I said after the game."

Lennon also defended his captain, Scott Brown, saying: "He was prompting attack after attack, winning the ball back and covering the ground. I couldn't have asked any more of him."

 Need your Celtic news fix? Click here for all Hoops news and transfer rumours.

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