Celtic manager Neil Lennon pledges his side will come back "stronger than ever" as he insists too much has been made of the defeat to Rangers.
The Premiership champions made it back-to-back losses when they lost to Milan in the Europa League on Thursday night following a 1-0 loss in the derby.
But the Celtic boss is refusing to panic as he insists people are getting carried away by one bad result.
Lennon insisted: "We're making too much of one result and one performance.
"We wil come back stronger than ever and we're looking forward to the challenge and the challenges that lie ahead.
"We're not panicking, we're staying calm.
"We have a great belief in the players and I have every right to believe in them because of what they have done and what they can do.
"I am past the stage of my career where criticising players probably works and I don't think they deserve it.
"I think they should be cut a bit of slack. They will come again and they will be stronger than ever and looking at them they have got the bit between the teeth again."
Lennon will keep a steady hand on the Celtic wheel as they try to overcome football challenges while also trying to negotiate the perils of Covid-19 issues which again kept Odsonne Edouard, Nir Bitton and Hatem Elhamed out of the AC Milan game.
The former Celtic captain said: "If I don't who will?
"It's my job. It's my job to protect the players. What have they won, 11 trophies in a row? It's not bad.
"I think the criticism against them at times is over-balanced and people take them for granted.
"What we are going through at the minute, it is not a normal season.
"Not only football challenges and the pressure of that but other challenges that every club is going through, some benefit maybe better than others. There is a long way to go in the season, a lot to look forward to.
"We just had a bit of a downturn in performances but I understand why."