PRESSURE, so the saying goes, creates diamonds. That is a maxim Neil Lennon appears to be clinging onto during these embattled times for the Celtic manager.

The problem with following that analogy through though is that it would make him simply carbon at this point in the process, something that a great many folk are hoping to soon be rid of.

After another heavy and frankly embarrassing defeat at the hands of Sparta Prague last night, Lennon’s position is coming under intense scrutiny once more. His £5m goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas sits on the bench as goals fly past Scott Bain left, right and centre. No matter the personnel he sends out in defence, the results are calamitous bordering on the comedic. His captain Scott Brown’s legs seem to have finally given way in midfield, and while Odsonne Edouard produced what was once a trademark moment of magic to put Celtic ahead in Prague last night, it has taken until the fag-end of November for the Frenchman to even hint that he has finally turned up for what is - don’t forget – supposed to be a historic season for the club.

If these players and indeed, their manager, don’t want to go down in history as the men who blew ‘The Ten’, then they have to find a way to arrest this alarming slide in fortunes. And pronto. Nowhere is that more evident than in at the back. They have now shipped 21 goals as they have won just two of their last nine games, and almost all of them seem to have come from one set-piece or another.

All that being said, I would be surprised if the Celtic board pulled the trigger on Lennon just yet. That might not be what a section of the Celtic support want to hear, and probably a large section at that after last night’s abomination of a display, but I shall show my working.

With no fans allowed into the stadium, it is difficult these days to accurately gauge the prevailing mood of supporters beyond social media (where the thoughts of the loud minority are often given far too much credence) or from banner displays like the one The Green Brigade unveiled outside Celtic Park the other day.

The Green Brigade, like a great deal many other Celtic fans, have had a topsy-turvy relationship of late with a man that each of them would likely hold up as a club legend. It was only in October that they turned up at Celtic’s Lennoxtown training ground in a strong show of support for Lennon and his team, after all. It should also be noted, as many Celtic supporters the wrong side of 30 have reminded me over the last few years, that the largest and loudest supporter’s group are not the de facto spokespeople for the wider Celtic support.

Still, there does seem to have been a shift in tone towards Lennon since the draw at Easter Road that has only been amplified tenfold with the defeat last night.

It seems to me that the points gap to Rangers, as well as the impressive form of Steven Gerrard’s side, has focused minds on how important the games between the sides will be when it comes to the destination of the title.

The comprehensive way in which Rangers defeated Celtic on their own patch was enough for many at the time to call for Lennon’s head, and the manner of the performances in-between have done little to restore faith that this Celtic side under Lennon can go to Ibrox on January 2nd and get what is looking to be an increasingly vital three points.

It is likely though we will get the chance to see if those fears are borne out, particularly when you factor in what lies between Celtic on the domestic scene and that trip to the other side of the city.

After Sunday’s home Betfred Cup tie against Ross County, Celtic have league games against St Johnstone, Kilmarnock, County again, Hamilton and Dundee United, all at home save for the trip to face Accies on Boxing Day.

They also have the small matter of last season’s Scottish Cup final against Hearts a few days prior to Christmas, so the mood music around the club and around Lennon himself may well be considerably different come the beginning of January. However unlikely that may seem right now.

The board, who are loyal to Lennon, may argue that it is difficult to sack a man who has won every trophy since stepping into the breach when Brendan Rodgers departed and stands on the brink of delivering yet another treble.

I may end up coming out of this with more egg on my face than Kirk Broadfoot rustling up a quick breakfast, but my feeling is that Celtic will stand by their manager and allow him the opportunity to haul his team back into the title reckoning.

This is all not to say that there aren’t some alarming issues needing addressed when it comes to the Celtic side at the moment. When a manager is moved to criticise his players so publicly and so frequently as Lennon has of late, despite a notable reluctance to cane them in the press earlier in the season, then something is clearly amiss. When a manager is moved to call his players lazy – one of the more heinous things you can call  professional footballer - in an attempt to summon a reaction from them, as Lennon did after the draw at Easter Road on Saturday, then that concern only grows.

Lennon, due to his past accomplishments on the pitch and in the dugout, will always be looked back on as a diamond in the eyes of the Celtic support. The next month or so though will go a long way towards determining whether or not he loses some of his sparkle.