NIR BITTON has hit out at accusations that certain Celtic players aren’t giving their all for manager Neil Lennon, and the Israeli says that they don’t deserve to be ‘slaughtered’ in the way they have been recently.

Bitton is adamant that Celtic will turn around their recent poor run of form which has now garnered just two wins from 11 games after a 4-2 defeat to AC Milan last night.

They have conceded 27 goals in that spell, but Bitton insists that the squad is united behind their manager and that they will turn things around soon.

“We always play for the manager,” Bitton said. “It’s been that way for the seven years I’ve been here.

“It’s nonsense what is being said on the outside. I have never heard anyone say they are not playing for the manager.

“We all have a good connection with him. At the end of the day we play for ourselves as well. We play for our pride, our families and for the fans.

“We don’t like to get slaughtered. I don’t think we deserve it, after what we have done, especially in the last four years.

“But this is football. We need to look forward and create more happy moments for the fans and for the team. I have no doubt we will do it.

“We are on a bad run of games right now but we all support and play for each other, like it’s always been.

“Things will change. From the outside it looks like something weird has happened but that’s far from the case.

“We are strong and we have enough quality in the squad to make it happen –we will make it happen.

“We go in to every game with the purpose of winning. But we win together and we lose together.

“The manager is the one who gets the stick but we deserve it because we are not performing at the level we want to at the moment. That’s nothing to do with the manager.

“We need to play for each other and with the quality we have in the squad I am sure we will make it.”

Bitton did however concede that Celtic are letting in goals far too easily at the moment.

“We are just a bit unlucky, everything is going against us,” he said.

“But this is not an excuse. We need to defend better, not as individuals but as a team.

“We conceded four goals [against Milan] but for a long period of the game we defended well. We were compact and we played against a top side top of Serie A.

“I think we just need to keep going and believe in ourselves. After that the results will come.

“We conceded four goals and it’s not good enough at this level. It’s not good enough at any level. But I think in general we showed some moments of how good we can be.

“We are still a strong team. We don’t listen to anyone outside the team.

“We believe in our quality, we have a strong squad, we have belief in ourselves and we need to show it now.”

Celtic now turn their attention to what is surely a must-win game against St Johnstone on Sunday, but Bitton says they will approach it in the same way that they always do.

“It’s as big as any other game,” he said. “We go in to every game to win and to give everything on the pitch.

“It doesn’t always work but the purpose is always there.

“We need to win and hopefully we will produce a good performance.”