Neil LENNON walked up the tunnel at Kilmarnock at half-time on Saturday fearful of his future as Celtic manager – but went to bed hoping that the season had taken a turn in the Parkhead club’s favour.
The Hoops were facing the prospect of falling 13 points behind Clydesdale Bank Premier League leaders Rangers after Killie raced in to a sensational three-goal interval lead through Dean Shiels, Paul Heffernan and James Fowler.
Lennon’s pep-talk inspired an equally dramatic comeback with three goals in six minutes, Anthony Stokes scoring twice before stand-in skipper Charlie Mulgrew headed an equaliser.
Kenny Shiels’ side, though, might have sneaked it at the end but Heffernan missed the target from just a few yards out and Lennon enjoyed more good fortune a few hours later when St Mirren struck in injury time at Ibrox to win a point against Rangers.
Celtic remain ten points behind the champions and three behind second-placed Motherwell, although the Hoops have a game in hand, but Lennon wants his men to take heart from the spirit shown in the second half in Ayrshire.
“I want the players to use that to their advantage,” said Lennon.
“Winning football games is hard and winning championships is a very difficult thing to do.
“You have to go through hard times in games, rough patches where you have to dig deep and find a little bit more.
“What we want to do is to get a run of winning games.
“We’ve dropped five points in the last two games and that is not good enough for us.”