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  • Neil Lennon: Celtic prepared for strong return against Thistle

    Neil Lennon: Celtic prepared for strong return against Thistle

    By: Tony Connelly on 17 Jan, 2020 17:17

  • NEIL Lennon said Celtic will be taking no chances when they face Partick Thistle at Firhill in the Scottish Cup tomorrow (Saturday), and insisted his side would start as they mean to go on in the second half of the season.

    The Hoops return to action after a productive week of training in Dubai, and the manager has been pleased with how his squad are looking ahead of the resumption of competitive football.

    “We’ve had a really intensive week in Dubai,” he said. “We had a few days off after the last game. That freshness was needed and I think the work was needed as well. Looking at them this week, they look like they’ve got the bit between their teeth.

    "We have a few injuries and, obviously, Ryan’s suspended. Elyounoussi and Elhamed are still out, while Jamesy and Kris Ajer are doubts as well. We’ll have a couple players back by the Kilmarnock game on Wednesday to add to the squad.”

    Championship side Partick Thistle will be keen to cause an upset by knocking out the cup holders, but Neil Lennon is adamant he and his team will not underestimate Celtic’s opponents.

    “I would imagine Ian McCall will make it difficult for us,” said the Irishman. “It’ll be a good atmosphere tomorrow. We don’t have far to travel. They had a bad result last weekend, but Ian is a very shrewd manager and has been around the Championship for a long time.

    “He’s brought a few players in. He knows that division and that environment very well. It’s a cup tie, we know it can be difficult and it’s away from home. We’re not going to take any chances, we’ll be as strong as we possibly can.

    “I’m focusing on what we do. Obviously, we’re focusing on a good start to the second half of the season and aim as we mean to go on.”

    Neil Lennon also gave an update on new Bhoy, Patryk Klimala, after the Polish striker's first few days of training with his new team-mates.

    "We like this personality and we like his attributes," he said. "His English is coming on, he’s settled in and the boys have taken to him. It’s only been a couple of days training so it’s very early.

    "He’ll be in the squad for tomorrow. His last game was mid-December but he’s been training since then so he’ll be in and around it anyway."

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