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LENNON: EARN THE MONEY OR I'LL SELL YOU! CELTIC v DUNDEE UTD, TOMORROW, 12.15.

Byline: COLIN DUNCAN

NEIL LENNON insists Amido Balde and Derk Boerrigter need to show dramatic improvement if they are to have a future at Celtic.

The Parkhead boss last night delivered a withering assessment of the struggling pair's first season at the club.

Balde and Boerrigter were both handed rare starts against St Johnstone in midweek but did little to show they belonged at Parkhead.

Lennon has already stated it is a priority to bring in attacking reinforcements this summer and admits he will listen to offers for a number of his players.

Asked to assess how Balde, Boerrigter and Temmu Pukki have faired this term he said: "Disappointing, although Teemu has got better as the season has gone on.

"Amido will probably say that he hadn't had enough game time.

"Derk has been littered with injuries. They will maybe think that they haven't had the opportunity but they must do better.

"Pukki I was really pleased with on Wednesday night, he still has got something to give.

"To be fair to Teemu, the form of Griffiths, Stokes and Commons has meant it has been difficult for him to break in.

"But he certainly showed on Wednesday night that he has the ability to do that.

"The other two need to improve dramatically if they're going to make any sort of headway in the first team for next season.

"I want to improve the team and the squad and we will listen to offers for some players. I wouldn't just single out any of those three or any of the other players really.

"We won't encourage them, but if there are bids coming in we will look at them like we do with every bid and we'll think if it's good business for the club then we'll consider it.

"We did have interest in him (Balde) in January, but we didn't want him to go.

"Whether he wants to go somewhere and play consistent football, I don't know.

"We'll sit down and talk about it, maybe in pre-season. But for the time being they are still part of what we are doing for next year."

Lennon believes there have been mitigating circumstances behind the poor form of Boerrigter, above, and feels it can often take players more than a season to find their feet when joining a big club.

He said: "He didn't cost the money that has been quoted.

"He cost around PS1million. I have seen quotes of PS3million and that's just ludicrous. It's nowhere near that mark.

"Some buys work for you and some don't. You can't judge them on one season.

"Maybe they need a second season to really show what they are capable of.

It's an important time between now and the qualifiers to try and find the right ones to make us better."

CAPTION(S):

BAD DISPLAY Amido Balde played poorly v Saints
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 10, 2014
Words:478
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