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  • Manager looking for post European factor to continue

    Manager looking for post European factor to continue

    By: Joe Sullivan on 01 Sep, 2019 08:01

  • OVER recent seasons, Celtic have had a pretty good record at bringing in results following a European game in midweek. This weekend throws up even more of a test than usual as, following the magnificent display in the 4-1 win over AIK in Stockholm on Thursday night to qualify for the groups stages of the UEFA Europa League, the Hoops travel to Ibrox today (Sunday), to take on Rangers in the lunchtime Glasgow derby.

    Neil Lennon, however, expects his charges to maintain their post-European attitude going into this top-of-the-table clash.

    The manager said: “The players over the past few years have dealt with pressure situations very, very well. It doesn’t become ‘normal’, because every game is different, but the mentality is good.

    “The mentality for big games and pressure games has been excellent over the last three, four, five years, so is it a concern? No! I think they are well experienced now for what lies ahead.”

    The manager also doesn’t follow the school of thought that this game, coming so early in the campaign, is a marker for the season ahead.

    He said: “It’s the fourth game of the season, so not really. There’s another 34 games to go after that, so you can maybe ask me that in February or March and we’ll have some sort of idea of where we are in the table.

    “We get too hysterical too early and it’s almost like game-to-game that every performance gets analysed to death. So to say it’s a marker or a defining moment in the season - sorry I’m not buying into that at all.”

    The manager also feels that taking part in such a high-profile game as a player, and his education under previous managers with such experience can be vital in these games.

    He added: “That experience is bound to help. I played under Martin O’Neill and he played in some huge games, and he passed on little titbits of experience to you. Then in the games you would realise what the manager was talking about. So I think it does help and it’s a benefit, there’s no question about that.”

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