Neil Lennon fumes at 'lazy' fringe players as Celtic lose to Motherwell
Celtic manager Neil Lennon labelled his players lazy after the runaway leaders in the Scottish Premier League fell to their first defeat of the year.
The Hoops went down to a 2-1 loss at the hands of Motherwell that moved the Fir Park side up to second place in the table. Lennon was fuming with his side's performance and questioned whether complacency had crept in due to their 19-point advantage at the top of the league.
"In some quarters it looked like that, and that's what I'm not happy with," he said. "I was very disappointed with us attacking-wise in the first half. There was a lack of desire and … hunger.
"I was expecting to come here and win … and I'm bitterly disappointed that we haven't."
With tomorrow's Scottish Cup quarter-final in mind, Lennon had made several changes to his side as he handed starts to fringe players including Australian international Tom Rogic.
Motherwell had handed a first starting slot to James McFadden, in his second spell with the club, but it was Nicky Law who inspired the Fir Park side as he set up Chris Humphrey for the opener in the 31st minute.
It took Celtic an hour to have a shot on target but they found themselves level in the 63rd minute when Georgios Samaras, returning from a long injury lay-off, headed past Darren Randolph.
However, Motherwell responded excellently and took the lead for the second time when Law crossed for Michael Higdon to volley high into the net for a 73rd minute winner.
"I would like to think they are quality players but they didn't show it tonight. Our attacking play was insipid in the first half. It was lazy and not good enough," Lennon said. "The second half was marginally better. But we got … a great goal and then we dropped a clanger again."
"We are making life hard for ourselves. They need to know that is not acceptable."