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Celtic Manager Neil Lennon Able To Fight Another Day

Celtic FC came down from 3-0 down to gain a point against Kilmarnock in a 3-3 draw on Sunday. That comeback might have saved Neil Lennon's job, but he's treading on thin ice.

Neil Lennon coach of Celtic arrives at the club's Barrowfield training ground on March 4, 2011 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Neil Lennon coach of Celtic arrives at the club's Barrowfield training ground on March 4, 2011 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
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A few weeks is nothing in football. One or two victories could be enough to take a side up the table or heap pressure on a manager.

That's the case for Neil Lennon.

Adored by the Celtic faithful, Lennon has been given the full backing of the supporters and the club's hierarchy. However, such is the intensity in the Scottish Premier League title race, times have changed for the Celtic boss, who is now treading a fine line after more points were dropped at Rugby Park on Saturday.

Normally, coming from three goals down in any match would be seen as a point gained, but for the Celtic die-hards who made the short trip to Ayrshire, that will mean nothing after an abysmal first half display.

To those looking in, it looked like another painful end to a manager's reign at Celtic, in similar fashion to Tony Mowbray's exit in the days after a 4-0 thumping by St. Mirren. But two well-taken strikes from Anthony Stokes and a header from stand-in captain Charlie Mulgrew turned the game on its head inside six minute, meaning the Hoops took a point from Kilmarnock, rather than nothing.

The afternoon took another dramatic twist with St Mirren scoring in the 94th minute at Ibrox to deny the SPL champions the chance to go 13 points clear of their Glasgow rivals, and that probably makes it even more frustrating for Celtic with Lennon's men unable to take advantage of a slip-up from Rangers, who remain 10 points clear.

The inability of Rangers to punish their bitter rivals, as well as, Killie's failure to hold on to a three-goal lead, has probably kept the Celtic boss in a job. Interestingly, Lennon mentioned at the club's AGM just a few days earlier that the inconsistency of players such as Georgios Samaras could end up getting him the sack, if results aren't improving fast.

But it was more than just one individual player that put Celtic in a horrible position at half-time and again, the more established players let the side down when it mattered. Midfielder Beram Kayal was one of many players posted missing in the first half and instead, it was up to the likes of 19-year-old James Forrest to lead the Celtic fightback.

Celtic coach Neil Lennon has been quick to lambast his players in the past but supporters are now questioning the position of their current boss. In the weekend press, Lennon has also pin-pointed his half time team-talk as the moment which saved his future.

His side have already lost 4-2 to Rangers in the Old Firm clash and have suffered defeats at the hands of St. Johnstone and Hearts before the weekend's draw at Kilmarnock. This is worrying compared to last year, when Celtic lost just once in the first round of fixtures.

If the pressure wasn't already on the Northern Irishman by just being the Celtic manager, then it certainly is now.

In what is usually a two-horse race, Celtic lie in third with Motherwell splitting the Old Firm after the first 11 matches of the campaign. The Parkhead club still have a game in hand against Dunfermline to play but three points in that match will only bring them level with Motherwell in the SPL.

Celtic's title-challenge, and Lennon's long-term future, could be reliant on another Rangers slip-up when they make tough trips to Hearts and Aberdeen in the next three weeks. However, it is imperative that they seize the opportunity if it comes along.