Lennon backs under-fire Scotland boss Levein

Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes Craig Levein has come in for unfair criticism after Scotland dropped four points in their opening two 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

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Lennon backs under-fire Scotland boss Levein
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Craig Levein

A goalless draw against Serbia and a 1-1 draw with Macedonia, both at Hampden, have left the Scots two points behind Serbia, Belgium and Croatia at the top of Group A. With the chances of reaching Brazil in two year's time in doubt, Scotland manager Levein is under severe pressure going into the double-header away to Wales and Belgium next month.

However, Lennon leapt to the defence of the national team boss, claiming personal agendas are driving some of his critics. He said: "I feel for him a little bit. But he is big enough and strong enough and he is trying to do the right thing and play the right way."

He added: "My own thoughts are that some of these people take personal issues and make it public through a newspaper and that's not the right place or time to do that.

"Certainly some of the stuff I read today was pretty crass, way off the mark and uneducated and just basically some of it is having a go for the sake of having a go.

"It is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction. I think we fly off the handle very quickly.

"Ideally you want to win your home games but that can be rectified pretty quickly if you pick up points away from home so Scotland are far from out of the group.

"Sometimes players need to hold their hands up and say 'I didn't do as well as I should have done there'.

"On reflection of both the games, the players can play better but it is far too early to say they are not going to qualify."

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