NEIL Lennon, much like the team he used to play for and manage, was in fine form as Celtic took on Rangers in the cinch Premiership at Parkhead on Saturday afternoon.

Lennon, who was working at the game for host broadcaster Sky Sports, was appalled when Ibrox captain James Tavernier was unable to take a corner in the second-half because he was being pelted by missiles.

The Northern Irishman has suffered more than most, perhaps more than anyone, from the actions of the undesirables who attach themselves to the two big Glasgow clubs over the years and he condemned the yobs who had targeted the right back in no uncertain terms.

He could not, though, resist aiming a cheeky dig at his fellow pundit Kenny Miller as he did so.

Miller caused a right old rumpus when he claimed that Rangers midfielder John Lundstram had not deserved to be red carded for his karate kick on Celtic defender Alistair Johnston shortly before half-time and blamed VAR for a gross injustice.

READ MORECeltic & Rangers level in SWPL title race as Glasgow City finish third

He was very much in a minority of one. Even Kris Boyd, whose allegiances are not exactly a closely guarded secret, disagreed with his old team mate. Lennon made light of his incensed colleague’s bizarre stance as Tavernier handed one of the objects which had been hurled at him to referee Willie Collum.

“I don’t know what it was,” he said. “I hear it was a marijuana grinder or something like that he has given him. So maybe Kenny threw it down.”

Glasgow Times: Neil LennonCeltic manager Brendan Rodgers clearly felt that Sky co-commentator Chris Sutton had been on the wacky baccy earlier this season when he suggested that he was “going through the motions”.

Rodgers visibly bristled as he recalled the accusation following a hard-fought but richly-deserved 2-1 triumph which sent his side six points clear of their city rivals at the top of the league table and effectively wrapped up their third consecutive Scottish title.  

"I heard somebody saying about Brendan Rodgers going through the motions early in the season,” he said.

"I get to work between half seven and eight o'clock every day of my life. I leave the training ground between six and seven at night. Then when I get home I have my dinner and I probably flip on the computer and look at more football.

"If that is going through the motions I want to know what every other manager is doing. From a personal level, I've been treated like a novice since I've come back here, like it's my first job.”

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Rodgers is an experienced manager. He has worked at the very highest level down in England with Swansea City, Liverpool and Leicester City for many years as well as with Celtic before. He learned a long time ago to ignore those who are paid to offer a controversial opinion on the game by the media and focus on the football.

So why did he let that particular Sutton soundbite get under his skin? Why did he appear so wounded by the criticism which had been aimed in his direction this term after such a positive result? It was completely of character.

It was an indication of the intense pressure he has been under behind the scenes during what he has publicly confessed has been his most challenging season in the dugout.

Glasgow Times: Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers in training at LennoxtownWhen Rodgers returned to East End to replace Ange Postecoglou in June opinion in the Parkhead stands was sharply divided.

There were certainly many who were pleased that such a capable and accomplished coach had been appointed. A large number, though, were incensed that the man they branded “the rat” when he departed before the end of the 2018/19 campaign had been brought back in. Matters did not improve greatly thereafter.

His summer recruitment was underwhelming. Project players, not the marquee signings which had been widely anticipated, arrived and struggled to make an impact. Key members of his squad also became unavailable due to serious injuries. He suffered his first ever cup defeat in this country against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in just his third game back in August.

READ MOREBrendan Rodgers hoping Celtic end challenging season with two trophies

Celtic’s form at home and abroad thereafter was erratic to say the least. They allowed their city rivals to claw back their lead and overtake them at the top of the table after Philippe Clement had taken charge. To be fair to Sutton, he was not the only person who suspected “The Brodge” was not giving matters his full and undivided attention at that particular juncture. 

It has been quite the turnaround. When Callum McGregor lifts the Premiership trophy aloft after the game against St Mirren at Parkhead this weekend it will be a sweet and emotional moment for a man who has come through a tumultuous 10 months on and off the park and silenced his many doubters.

Only someone who has been smoking dope would bet against an individual who has now lost just one of the 17 matches against Rangers that he has taken charge of from orchestrating another win over the Ibrox club in the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup final at Hampden on Saturday week and completing a double. He is no novice. 

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