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  • Neil Lennon: We’re prepared for tough second qualifying round tie

    Neil Lennon: We’re prepared for tough second qualifying round tie

    By: Joe Donnelly on 23 Jul, 2019 16:31

  • AHEAD of tomorrow night’s (Wednesday) UEFA Champions League second qualifying round first leg against Nomme Kalju, Neil Lennon said he expects a tough tie against a determined side.

    The Estonian champions scored in the 91st minute against North Macedonia’s KF Shkendija to progress from the previous round, and, like FK Sarajevo, the manager and his players are prepared for another well-contested match at Paradise tomorrow, and again on the road next week.

    “I expect a very difficult tie,” said Neil Lennon. “We negotiated a tough tie against Sarajevo, and I’m expecting the same here. Nomme Kalju were a goal down in the last round, pulled it around and got themselves through.

    “With the first leg in this tie at home, it’s not always ideal, but we hope to take a good result over there. We’ve had a good week, we’ve prepared well, and we’ve watched the opposition on a number of occasions. They’re champions and a team that you cannot take lightly.”

    Neil Lennon explained that Mikey Johnston is now fit for selection, having missed out on the second leg of the FK Sarajevo tie, and that both Bayo and Marian Shved have resumed first-team training. Likewise, Christopher Jullien is working hard on his fitness, while Tom Rogic is still undertaking rehab away from the training pitch.

    “Christopher Jullien is a possibility for this tie," the Hoops boss said. "The players in front of him are playing pretty well, but there’s still plenty of time for Chris to feature more regularly. Mikey Johnston is back in the squad. Bayo is back in training, and so too is Marian Shved. Tomorrow might be too soon for those two, but they’re getting towards full fitness.

    “Lewis Morgan has also started off very well. It’s my first time working with Lewis and he’s had a good pre-season. He played well against Sarajevo, and he’s done his chances in this team no harm at all.”

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