Callum McGregor and Scott Brown both started Celtic’s Champions League qualifier defeat against CFR Cluj.

Barry Ferguson has admitted that he was baffled by Neil Lennon’s ‘strange’ decision to play Callum McGregor at left-back during their Champions League qualifier defeat to Cluj.

The former Scottish Premiership player also defended Scott Brown for seemingly liking a tweet [Football Scotland], which was criticising manager Neil Lennon after the defeat. 

The defeat was a body blow for Celtic because it has now blown their chances for another season in trying to reach the group stages of Europe’s biggest club competition.

Nonetheless, speaking to PLZ Soccer’s official YouTube account (14/08/2019), Ferguson stated that ‘trust’ needs to be put into Brown, who he described as a ‘proper leader’ following that controversial moment on social media. 

On McGregor playing left-back: “It’s a hard one that,” Ferguson told PLZ Soccer. “It’s strange. For me, Callum McGregor is the best midfielder Celtic have got. He is one of the best midfielders in Scotland. So, it was a massive decision for Lenny to move him out of that midfield slot. For me, he is the guy that makes them tick. 

“He [Lennon] perhaps thinks he can put his trust in him because he is that good a player. But you went and spent £3 million on a left-back and he’s sat on the bench. That kind of tells you what Lenny thinks of the new left-back that has come in. 

On Brown Twitter saga: “The reason why I am not on Twitter. That’s where you have to be careful in this day and age. He’s a big player. He’s a captain. He said he’s made a mistake and you have got to trust him because he has been immense for Celtic and has always spoken highly of Neil Lennon. I think it was a genuine mistake. I like that he’s taken a bit of the blame. That tells you he’s a proper leader.”

After their Champions League heartbreak, the pressure will now be on Celtic to progress through to the Europa League group stages. 

Failure to do that will only pile the pressure on the players and the manager as they aim to win their ninth Premiership title in a row. 

In other news, Our view: Tottenham should try again for reported January target; allegedly available for just £18m