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Lennon delighted by response

Neil Lennon was delighted with the way Celtic responded from the shock home league defeat by Kilmarnock to hammer St Johnstone 5-0 in the Scottish Communities League Cup quarter-finals.

Last Updated: 31/10/12 at 07:43 Post Comment

Commons: Scored a least two while Mulgrew grabbed the fifth

Commons: Scored a least two while Mulgrew grabbed the fifth

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The only query on the night was whether or not Kris Commons should be given the match ball after a one-sided Celtic Park cup-tie.

The Scotland midfielder's first deflected off St Johnstone's Liam Craig after 28 minutes though there was no doubting his driven second (32) and third from the penalty spot (57).

Gary Hooper and Charlie Mulgrew scored either side of the spot-kick as the hosts comprehensively returned to winning ways after defeats to Barcelona and Killie.

Lennon said: "I got everything I wanted. It was a fantastic response. It was a difficult couple of days for myself, scratching my head as to where that performance (against Killie) came from but we were back to our best and some of the football and the pace they played at was of a very high order.

"It was a big game, St Johnstone were going very well so to win the game so emphatically was testament to the quality of the players and their attitude.

"We moved the ball around quickly, we were aggressive in our pressing and tackling and that is the sort of team I want to see week-in, week-out.

"I enjoyed watching the team tonight and I hope that is a marker for, I hope, a concerted period of good performances, that is what I am demanding from the team."

A sheepish Commons said: "I don't think the first one was going in for sure, it was more a cross than a shot.

"I'm sure the first one was on target, maybe not, I don't know. I was listening out to the announcer and I didn't hear my name so I thought they might have given it to someone else.

"It was a good move and if one of their defenders had not put it in, maybe one of our strikers would have got a two-yard tap-in.

"Certainly when I was taking the penalty I didn't think it was for the hat-trick, I was thinking it was for my second goal."

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e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

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