CELTIC captain Scott Brown today jumped to the defence of manager Neil Lennon in the wake of his threat to quit the club if supporters want him out.

The Parkhead gaffer's reaction to a spat with a couple of fans during the 1-0 defeat at home to Inverness Caley Thistle has dominated the headlines.

Having guided the SPL champions to the brink of the knockout stage of the Champions League – and a famous victory over Barcelona – Lennon would be entitled to expect he would be exempt from criticism at this moment in time.

Although there have been some disappointing domestic results this season, the fact his side still top the SPL is another reason why the Hoops boss reacted in the way he did, despite his players' lacklustre display in front of a frustrated home crowd.

But Brown is adamant such criticism shouldn't be directed at the boss and said: "The gaffer has been great with every single player here and the club has made a lot of progress since he has been in charge.

"We are possibly only one game away from reaching the knockout stage of the Champions League, we have won away from home for the first time in the competition and we have managed to defeat Barcelona.

"The players know that we need to start picking up more points in the league, especially at home, but the manager has built a good enough team, brought players in from nowhere and made them an important part of the team and that is to his credit.

"And we are still top of the league and in two cup competitions as well."

Brown was honest enough to admit his team-mates need to find a way to make opposing teams fear a trip to Parkhead.

He said: "This place used to be a fortress and we need to get it back to that.

"That isn't the case just now as teams are coming here and believing they can get something and we need to get back to the stage where our results mean they don't think like that.

"I know we are still top of the league but we've dropped too many points.

"Saturday just wasn't our day as I felt we created enough chances to win a couple of games but we just couldn't make it count.

"We need to get ourselves going again in the league."