play-off first leg: v AIK
Venue: Park Date: Thursday 22 August Kick-off: 19:45 BST

Manager Neil Lennon says he powerless to prevent the “hysteria” surrounding after their exit, insisting “we’re fine”.

conceded four goals at home to n champions CFR Cluj last Tuesday to go out 5-4 on aggregate and drop into the .

AIK visit Glasgow for Thursday’s play-off first leg and Lennon remains happy with his side’s form.

“We’ve lost one game and we scored three goals in it,” he said.

“There has to be a sense of perspective. I can’t control that. There’s a little bit of hysteria around things at times.”

The 4-3 home defeat by Cluj was followed by an unconvincing extra-time win over Dunfermline Athletic in the League Cup last 16 on Saturday.

That came after started the Scottish Premiership season by scoring 12 goals in comprehensive wins over St Johnstone and Motherwell.

“There’s a narrative going round that we are maybe a bit off colour,” added Lennon. “We’re absolutely not. We’re fine. Hopefully, the players can go out and show that.

“People are entitled to criticise me, criticise the players, but there has to be a sense of balance.

“It’s a big disappointment to be out of the , we know that. But the is a very good competition that, hopefully, we can prosper in.”

Lennon repeated that he would like “three or four” new signings before the end of August and stressed that he is pleased with the summer recruitment so far.

New arrivals Christopher Jullien and Boli Bolingoli were unused substitutes in the defeat by Cluj, despite a combined transfer fee of £10m.

“They’re not going to hit the ground running, every one of them,” said Lennon.

“We’ve had to chop and change the defence and change our goalkeeper as well. There’s been a lack of continuity there due to suspension or injuries.

“Going forward, I’m confident these players will do very well. The more games they play, the better they will get.”

will keep his place after goalkeeper Scott Bain damaged his thumb against Cluj, while Hatem Abd Elhamed is a doubt and the game comes too soon for .


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