29.11.2020 17:53 h

Celtic collapse to first cup defeat in four years

Neil Lennon admitted his job as Celtic manager is hanging by a thread after a 2-0 home League Cup defeat by Ross County saw the Scottish champions lose a domestic cup tie for the first time in four years.

Ross Stewart's first-half penalty and an Alex Iacovitti header five minutes from time ended Celtic's 35-game winning run in cup competitions.

Lennon's men have won just two of their last 10 games in all competitions to also crash out of the Europa League and fall 11 points behind Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Despite mounting calls from fans for Lennon to go, he insisted in his pre-match press conference on Friday that he had the full backing of major shareholder Dermot Desmond and chief executive Peter Lawwell.

However, there was no sign of a response from his players as another disjointed Celtic display littered with defensive mistakes was punished by the Staggies.

"Today's result won't have helped," said Lennon on his chances of staying in charge. "There is a demand for excellence and a demand for wins at this club. I'm not standing here like a happy clapper saying 'Everything's ok'.

"I'm the face of the football department. It's my philosophy, my tactics, what I am trying to work out is why we are more of less the same squad who were rampant last year and we've certainly not been rampant this year."

Celtic will have the chance to claim a 12th consecutive major trophy in Scotland in next month's delayed Scottish Cup final.

But the first silverware of 2021 will bring a changing of the guard with Rangers now heavy favourites to secure their first trophy under Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard's men travel to Falkirk later on Sunday looking to book their place in the quarter-finals.