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  • Manager: I'm confident we will be ready for crucial Euro test

    Manager: I'm confident we will be ready for crucial Euro test

    By: Tony Connelly on 21 Aug, 2019 16:01

  • NEIL Lennon predicted a positive forecast for Celtic in the upcoming flurry of fixtures as the Scottish champions return to action tomorrow night (Thursday) with the aim of nailing down European football for the coming months.

    Celtic will welcome Swedish champions AIK to Paradise tomorrow evening for the first leg of their Europa League play-off tie, and Neil Lennon's side head into the game focused on adding to the positive tally of wins they have picked up in the early part of the season.

    “There’s a little bit of hysteria around things at times and that’s the environment you’re in in Glasgow,” said the manager. “We have to be bullish about things and look forward. It’s a big disappointment to be out of the Champions League but the Europa League is a very good competition which we, hopefully, prosper in.

    “I wasn’t worried about the criticism after the Dunfermline result because you can’t control it. There’s a narrative going around that we might be a little bit off colour. We’re not, we’re absolutely not. Hopefully the players can go out and show that tomorrow.

    “We’re looking forward to the game and we have a big season ahead of us. We’re two games in and we’ve scored 12 league goals. People are entitled to criticise me and criticise the players but there has to be a sense of balance about it as well.”

    The manager insisted his side have all the qualities needed to compete in Europe and highlighted the importance of playing in elite competition.

    “It’s exciting and it’s great for the development of the players,” said Neil Lennon. “It’s great for the development of the backroom staff and myself as a coach. It’s great to go up against European teams and the fans enjoy it as well, so it’s important.

    “The players will want to get back out there and show we have some European pedigree. We have the makings of a very good side and hopefully that manifests itself tomorrow night. This tournament is important. It gives gravitas to the season, opens the season up and gives us European football up until, at least, Christmas.”

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