THE cold light of day has not yet appeared to offer an consolation and neither has any dust settled on Celtic’s exit from the Champions League.

Supporters have not calmed down. Little reason if any has been uncovered. They hurt and will continue to do so for a few weeks and more.

FC Cluj, the champions of Romania, scored four goals at Celtic Park. Fair play to them and good luck. But they are hardly PSG. This was Celtic's worst result in over three years.

It was an awful defeat and here we look at who would have got the least amount of sleep.


Neil Lennon

The team was wrong, although he might argue in private it was forced upon him, and decisions made during the game were a puzzle.

The debate over playing Celtic’s best midfielder, Callum McGregor, at left-back even in an emergency should have ended last December when Brendan Rodgers did so at Ibrox.

Boli Bolingoli cost £3million and wasn’t good enough or ready, maybe both, to play in such a vital match. But why no Johnny Hayes? Okay, he’s not Kieran Tierney but the Irishman is steady enough and has done fine there in the past without being brilliant.

McGregor almost gave away a penalty early on and was beaten in the air more than once because that’s not him, and yet the manager claimed the left side of the team wasn’t why Celtic lost. Hmm.

Lennon said he wanted Ntcham in the team which is why McGregor was moved but how will that make a player wanted by Leicester City feel? He’s hardly put a foot wrong for two seasons and it’s him who moves to accommodate a team-mate who until recently hadn't contributed all year.

Ntcham played well but was taken off when Scott Brown was the one toiling. Leigh Griffiths should have been put on at 3-3. Lennon faces a few weeks of intense scrutiny.

Peter Lawwell

It’s easy to blame the board and, rightly or wrongly, Lawwell who is seen to make every decision within the club.

Celtic have no debt, a bank account stuffed with cash and are a money-making machine. They lost to a team who it has been worked out that cost less than the Celtic squad if you add in the other 13 clubs in their domestic league.

What the fans think, and this is a lot of them, is that the board are happy to make profit while the team “downsizes” to use a favourite word of the moment. Me, I don’t think that’s the case, but there is a strong argument to say that more money should have been spent over the past two years on a better standard of player.

Rodgers felt that. Lennon does too, as do many of the players, some of which left and partly for this reason. Celtic need to strengthen. Lawwell could do with coming out in public to back the manager and explain what is happening.

The chief executive can’t just be seen when things are good.

Christopher Jullien

If a club has paid a sizeable amount of money for you but by the time the domestic season has begun you’re not deemed ready to play in what up until then was the biggest game, something is wrong.

Julien may come good but that he wasn’t trusted against Cluj, hardly a European superpower, says a lot about his the impression the Frenchman has made so far.

It’s up to the player to make sure he is fit and sharp. He’s getting big money to be the team’s defensive lead, not as an unused substitute.

Scott Bain

This will seem harsh as the goalkeeper has been superb since getting into the team but Craig Gordon will start against Dunfermline in the Betfred Cup and that might be him back in the team.

Bain was at fault for Liam Donnelly’s goal at For Park and he ought to have done better when Bilel Omrani's got the third goal for Cluj when he parried the ball instead of pushing it away.

He looked unsure of himself, he came for crosses when he should have stayed put. Lennon has a big call to make.


Celtic’s attacking players

Four goals over two legs, three at home in a 45-minute spell, really ought to do it.

Odsonne Edouard was superb, James Forrest continued his run of important goals, Ryan Christie got another and Griffiths, on too late, was sharp and might have got a chance had he five more minutes with which to work with.

What must the front players thought as the ball was lost in midfield time and again which allowed Cluj to attack with runs no tracked and crosses not blocked out.

Edouard is beginning to look like the player Rodgers said he would be. The lad is a star.

European agents

For those who represent players who would fall into Celtic’s wanted category, it has become a sellers’ market.

Any target can ask for more, as can their club, because they will know Celtic are desperate and don’t have the Champions League as an enticement.

Lennon's phone would have been buzzing on Wednesday morning.