NEIL LENNON always knew that going for ‘The Ten’ would never be straightforward. He probably didn’t foresee a supporter’s group calling for his removal in order that Celtic might achieve it though.

But this is the scenario that Lennon faced yesterday as The Green Brigade called for the sacking of their manager after watching Celtic fall 11 points behind Rangers at the top of the Premiership over the weekend, albeit having played two games less than their great rivals.

Lennon, having delivered every trophy available since stepping back into the Celtic dugout, was hurt by the timing and the sentiment. He doesn’t deny that the season has not gone the way that either he nor the fans would have wanted thus far, but he does refute the suggestion that it has been as bad as has been portrayed. Or that it is in any way irretrievable under his stewardship.

The backing of club majority shareholder Dermot Desmond and chief executive Peter Lawwell is helping him to maintain a sense of perspective, and he has urged those supporters who have called for his dismissal to do something similar.

“I don’t feel under any pressure at all,” Lennon said. “I don’t feel that I should be under any pressure either.

“We have lost one game in the league this season. We have lost one game in this calendar year domestically. So I think over the piece we have been pretty good.

“We are in another final. Unfortunately it’s had to overlap into this season and we didn’t get the chance to enjoy the fruits of last season.

“Once that’s out of the way we go for another one and try to achieve another treble if we can. It never changes.

“I don’t know if [the fans] can’t see it or whether they don’t want to see it. I see it. And that’s where you keep that sense of perspective.

“I speak to Peter every day and I speak to Dermot once or twice a week. Obviously we are all in the same fight.

“We know we are a little bit inconsistent. But we have great belief that we will go on a run and play the sort of football we know we are capable of

“Look, the fans want what I want. I want the same thing as them. I can understand there is a sense of frustration - there is a lot of frustration surrounding this season with the fact they can’t be at the games to see the team.

“They’re all entitled to their opinion. But as far as I’m concerned we’ve made a better start to the season than in previous seasons. We’re chasing our tail a little bit, but there is a long way to go.

“I have great faith in what I’m doing, what my backroom team are doing, and certainly what the players will do going forward.”

That Lennon came out of the corner he has been painted into fighting was no surprise, but his assertion that he is enjoying the current situation at Celtic certainly raised an eyebrow. But it is in such embattled moments that Lennon perhaps feels he is at his best.

And indeed, he questioned whether the fact some of the club’s supporters have not known such moments of adversity might not just be behind the current hysteria surrounding both Celtic’s position and his own.

“Look, I’ve been in worse situations, far worse situations in my managerial career and also my own football career,” he said.

“Maybe some fans or players haven’t been through a real test like this before.

“But it’s my job, certainly from the players’ point of view, to cajole them through it and I do believe they will hit a run of form and momentum to get going.

“But there are always challenges as a manager that you always have to face. It can’t always be rose gardens.

“You have to come through a little bit of adversity at times. Listen, there has to be a sense of perspective here. We have won nine, drawn three and lost one. In the three draws we’ve given away silly penalties that have cost us six points. If we eradicate that we’ll be there or thereabouts.

“And we’ve got games in hand - which we’re not guaranteeing we’re going to win - but we could win them and the gap then isn’t as big as it probably looks on paper.

“The reality is we’ve been a little bit inconsistent but that’s no different from any other season.

“Our rivals are going very well at the minute and we have to stay around, stay strong, and push through it. There is plenty of football to go.

“I think it’s just a sign of the times. You’re either a one-week wonder or a one-week disaster. With all the media platforms and the so-called expert opinions...I really don’t engage with it. I step away and look at the facts.

“We have to be calm and have a sense of perspective and share that with the players as well.

“I’m here as the face of the team and I enjoy that privilege immensely. It’s a privilege managing this club and this group of players.

“I think we’ve done pretty well since I came back in and even in the first spell we had great success as well. We are looking for more of the same in future.

“I’ve been strong my whole career. I’ve been here 20 years and the club means everything to me.

“It will continue to mean everything to me after that.”