Lennon threatens to wield the axe as Celtic struggle with set pieces

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The Independent Football

Neil Lennon, the Celtic manager, is considering defensive changes following their 4-2 defeat by Rangers on Sunday.

Lennon analysed their second-half collapse at Ibrox with his players before concentrating on tonight's Scottish Communities League Cup tie against Ross County, and changes are likely for the trip to Dingwall. Kelvin Wilson is a doubt with a thigh injury and Mark Wilson drops out through suspension but Lennon may make unforced adjustments.

Celtic bounced back to lead 2-1 at Ibrox at half-time after a poor clearance from Wilson had gifted Steven Naismith the opener. But Nikica Jelavic headed home from a corner and two more crosses yielded goals for Kyle Lafferty and Naismith. Lennon admitted his team had been pushed too far back in the second half and could not deal with the resulting pressure. "If you are able to defend as well as some teams do with crosses and set pieces, then that's fine, but we didn't deal with crosses well enough and we didn't stop the crosses in the first place," he said.

Celtic also lost a simple goal from a corner days earlier when Falcao put Atletico Madrid ahead in their Europa League game in Spain.

Lennon said: "You can do a number of things – you can change the way you defend corners or you can change the personnel. We will talk about that and take it from there.

"We half-zonal and half man-mark which we have been doing since I've come in really. We have conceded two in two games and they are the first two we have conceded for a long time in corners. The system seemed to suit us, it just might be the personnel needs changing in that area."

Lennon, who replaced injured left-back Emilio Izaguirre with Badr El Kaddouri before the transfer window closed, has only named the same back four in successive games on one occasion this season. "We would like to get a consistent four but some players have been suspended or injured or out of form," he added. "We would all like to get a settled back four but with Badr being excluded from European games, then there is always going to be need for change."

Lennon is keen to move on from the Old Firm defeat but he knew he had to address the issues raised by the game.m "There is always a fall-out after a Celtic-Rangers game," he said. "If you lose you are going to get criticised and analysed, that's the nature of the game. The best thing to do is get back on the horse and be as positive as you can, play as well as you can, and try to eradicate where we went wrong, and get more consistency in our game."

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