Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton has warned manager Neil Lennon that failing to pick Ismaila Soro and David Turnbull for tomorrow’s Scottish Cup final will heap more pressure on his shoulders.
Classic Sutton outburst
The Irish tactician has come under intense scrutiny this season after they slipped behind arch-rivals Rangers in the Scottish Premiership table, were knocked out of the Betfred Cup by Ross County and were miserably eliminated from Europe.
Supporters have congregated outside of Parkhead calling for the board to dismiss Lennon from his position, but the club have publicly stood by him and asserted that they will continue to support the man who has won four league titles while in the hot seat.
Captain Scott Brown and Tom Rogic, two experienced squad players, have been dropped in recent weeks, with youngsters Ismaila Soro and David Turnbull coming in and putting in some good performances for the Bhoys. Victories against Lille and Kilmarnock have slightly lessened the tension going into Sunday’s game.
Speaking to BT Sport, Sutton pulled no punches and warned Lennon that the pressure will increase unless he starts playing the youngsters.
He said: “If he goes back to Brown, if he goes back to Rogic to Soro and Turnbull after they’ve played so well in the past couple of games, what message does that send?
Is Neil Lennon justified for his loyalty to specific players? 🤝
Or is he too sentimental? 🤷♂️
📺 Scottish Football Extra pic.twitter.com/s1t1LlFiS2
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 18, 2020
“Now what [Lennon] he’s done in the last couple of games, he’s taken a little bit of pressure off himself, a tiny piece of pressure, and Celtic have built a tiny piece of momentum, that all goes out the window – if Soro doesn’t play and if Turnbull doesn’t play and Celtic end up losing the game.
“I don’t understand his thought process if he’s going down the sentimental route.”
Transfer Tavern Verdict
The old saying goes, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Celtic have, at last, found a winning formula and the likes of Soro and Turnbull are included in that.
Sutton is spot on here. Lennon is at risk of undoing all of his team’s hard work in the last few weeks, if he shows loyalty towards the senior players that haven’t been performing.
It is the biggest game of the season for Celtic, without a doubt. A victory would inject huge confidence in the team. A defeat could be the beginning of the end for Lennon.
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