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  •  Manager reacts to Europa League draw and looks ahead to Latvia

    Manager reacts to Europa League draw and looks ahead to Latvia

    By: Joe Donnelly on 18 Sep, 2020 15:31

  • AFTER Riga FC and Tre Fiori’s UEFA Europa League second round qualifying match was adandoned mid-game yesterday evening, the Latvian outfit won the rescheduled tie 1-0 this morning (Friday). This means Celtic will travel to Latvia next week, and Neil Lennon is looking forward to a well-contested encounter.

    Should the Hoops progress past Riga, they’ll face either Buducnost Podgorica of Montenegro, or FK Sarajevo of Bosnia and Herzegovina away from home – with the Hoops having beaten Sarajevo in last season’s UEFA Champions League first qualifying round.  

    Speaking at Lennoxtown today, Neil Lennon said: “We’re away, so again it’s difficult. Riga won this morning by one goal. We’ll do all of our prep work ahead of that game. It’s important that we have Europa League football going into the first half of the season.

    “Hopefully we can negotiate Riga, and then we’ll look at the next stage. We’ve played Sarajevo before and we had a decent couple of results against them. The draw could have been a lot worse, but it could have been a lot better as well.”

    Keen to build momentum from here, Neil Lennon again stressed the challenges of closed doors football, but praised the efforts of his players and staff behind the scenes. The Irishman said building momentum during what has been a stop-start season so far is crucial, and he hopes that can continue against Livingston this weekend.

    He added: We need to just keep playing games, regular games, and getting more of an understanding of each other. I think some of the players are still feeling their way into the season and the surrounding circumstances.

    “Like I said on Wednesday, I was delighted to get the win. I thought our intensity and attitude to the game was fantastic. It’d have been easy to switch off. We got off to a bad start and our reaction to that was brilliant.

    “If we’d won the game three or four, that would have put a better sheen on the performance, but in terms of what I got out of the performance, I felt it was better than at the weekend when we won 5-0. We want to marry both halves, put everything together and I don’t think we’re far off doing that now.”

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