Celtic Player of the Year snub 'abysmal' - Neil Lennon

The Northern Irishman is perplexed that not one of his players have been nominated for the top individual awards, despite enjoying a memorable season on all fronts
Neil Lennon has reacted furiously to the absence of Celtic players on the shortlist for Scottish PFA's Player of the Season, branding the nominations "abysmal".

For the first time in over 20 years the award will not be presented to a representative of either Old Firm club, with Hibs’ Leigh Griffiths, Motherwell’s Michael Higdon, Aberdeen’s Niall McGinn and Michael Shinnie of Inverness the four nominees.

This comes in a season where Celtic are still in the running to win a domestic double, having enjoyed a memorable Champions League campaign featuring victory over Barcelona and a place in the last 16.

Lennon is adamant his players deserved recognition for such achievements.

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"The outcome of those votes belittles all the efforts of the players," he said. I think it's abysmal."

"I can't see why there's no Kris Commons, Gary Hooper, Victor Wanyama or Fraser Forster on that list.

"It beggars belief that we make the semi-final of the League Cup, the final of the Scottish Cup, win the championship, make the last 16 in Europe, beating Barcelona, beating Spartak Moscow - putting the country on the map again as far as European football is concerned."

Higdon and Griffiths are the top two leading goalscorers in the league, while Shinnie's prolific form from midfield has earned him a move to Birmingham City this summer.

However, Lennon is not convinced that these players deserve to be labelled the best in the Scottish league.

He continued: "Are people voting for the best or the most improved player in Scotland? There's a huge difference in my eye.

"That's not taking anything from the candidates that were nominated.

"They have all had fine seasons, but to not have one Celtic player in that group is unbelievable."

The champions' only potential award winner is Victor Wanyama, who is in the running for Young Player of the Year, and their manager has revealed the nominations have caused unrest among the team.

"I have no idea what way the voting goes but you can't tell me that Forster, Wanyama, Commons, Kelvin Wilson and Hooper weren't in the forefronts of people's minds when the votes were being made," he insisted. "It's ridiculous.

"There is a lot of ill will in the dressing room now. The players are very, very disappointed with the outcome. They have performed heroically."