In the last couple of weeks, you have to credit Neil Lennon.
The Celtic boss took considerable flak from supporters when they travelled to Parkhead in protest against both his management and the club’s ownership a few weeks ago.
Though, Peter Lawwell stuck with his man and it’s paid off. In the last five games, the Bhoys have won every single one, including the Scottish Cup final.
It would seem that clash has given him a lifeline and also injected extra energy into the Celtic side. From a defensive point of view, they have been a lot better. They’ve conceded more than Rangers in the league and shipped a mighty 19 strikes in the Europa League, but they have now kept three clean sheets in their last four.
One of the biggest reasons for keeping one against Hamilton was courtesy of Nir Bitton, someone who’s provided Lennon with a pretty hefty selection dilemma.
The defensive colossus won a mighty seven aerial duels in that clash, putting in a simple but effective display at the heart of the Hoops’ backline. It was a performance that included anything but drama, something that should be of huge relief to the watching Celtic fans.
Bitton was pretty much perfect on Boxing Day, making four interceptions and completing 90% of his passes. So, with that in mind, he simply has to start over the likes of Shane Duffy and Christopher Jullien against Dundee United on Wednesday.
The Hoops have a few selection dilemmas at the moment – no less than with Leigh Griffiths, someone who’s scored in each of his last three games. That, however, means moving Odsonne Edouard about.
Lennon needs to forget about that headache, though, and focus on Bitton instead. Of course, it’s difficult to tell what kind of form the Israeli is in after one match, so throwing him into the XI once more when they play Dundee would be a wise plan.
If he impresses again, then Lennon knows he’s someone to rely on heading into the New Year. If he flops, then the January transfer window will have to be utilised.
Besides the last few weeks, Celtic’s defence hasn’t been good enough – it needs to be the manager’s primary focus.