Martin O’Neill, the former Celtic manager, has told the Parkhead support that their concerns over losing 10-in-a-row are premature.

Celtic are currently 11 points shy of Rangers, although the Ibrox side have played two games more. Neil Lennon’s position has come under intense scrutiny after a season in which Celtic went out of the Champions League at the second qualification stage and have struggled to find any significant momentum domestically.

O’Neill, though, retains a confidence in Lennon that he has the capability and nuance to turn things around and close the gap on Steven Gerrard’s side.

“The league is not over. Not by a long shot,” said O’Neill. “Can Celtic get it back? Absolutely they can get it back. Covid issues have been huge. Boli Bolingoli talking himself off for a jaunt to Spain put Celtic in bother because those games in hand aren’t a problem until your rivals are picking up a bit of momentum and then all of a sudden there is a bit of psychology at play.”

O’Neill also called for an appreciation of Lennon’s track record and suggested that current criticism is lacking in the respect that he deserves.

“If I had walked back into Celtic Park for a second spell after a manager had just left and there was a Treble Treble at stake, if I had delivered it and then stood on the cusp of delivering another one – and he is just one game away from that – I would be asking myself ‘just where is this pressure coming from?’ It is shocking,” said O’Neill.

“The pressure he is under right now is entirely unwarranted for the success that Celtic have had and the part he has played in that.

“Anyone can head onto social media and stick up a poll. I can have 25 people all agree with me and the percentages would look great, they’d look fantastic but is some of the vitriol that has been put in his direction really reflective of the majority?

“One of the strangest sights I have seen was at Celtic Park on the opening day of the season when they raised the Championship flag to empty stadium. It was quite something. If there were 60,000 fans in there I am fairly certain that there would be a fair bit of support put in the way of Neil Lennon. And rightly so.

“Management can be a lonely place and it even can be a lonely place when you are winning games and on top of it all. In terms of pressure, it can be tough to come out of that but he has chosen through lots of moments of adversity in his career that he has the character to withstand that.”