Lennon demands better start

Neil Lennon admits Celtic will have to be on top of their game from the opening whistle when Barcelona visit Celtic Park in Tuesday's Champions League showdown.

Last Updated: 29/09/13 at 07:52 Post Comment

Neil Lennon: Aware that Barcelona are notorious fast starters

Neil Lennon: Aware that Barcelona are notorious fast starters

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Celtic looked off the pace in the early stages of Saturday's Scottish Premiership encounter at Kilmarnock before hitting their stride with a goal from Kris Commons and two in as many minutes from Georgios Samaras.

Killie fought back to make it 3-2 at half-time, but Samaras completed his hat-trick with three minutes left before Amido Balde made sure of the points in added time.

Lennon was also critical of the way his side let Killie back into the game, and he knows they must cut of the mistakes if they are to repeat last season's famous win over the Spanish giants.

"I thought we were sloppy at times and a wee bit pedestrian at the start," admitted Lennon after the 5-2 win at Rugby Park. "I don't know if it was the weather or the pitch, we just looked like we were out for an easy-ish type of game.

"I didn't think we started the game well at all. After the first goal the reaction was superb and I thought the second and third goals were quality.

"Then we got a bit lackadaisical at the back. Virgil van Dijk gave a free-kick away when Michael Gardyne was not going anywhere and we got done on a give and go.

"Obviously I wasn't best pleased at half-time but I thought the second-half performance was superb. I thought we dominated the game and limited Kilmarnock to very little and we looked a threat going forward.

"But I don't think we will (start slowly against Barcelona). I think the temperature will be cooler, we will be under the lights and we are playing Barcelona.

"They are notoriously fast starters, in the recent game against Sociedad they were three up in 15 minutes so we have to be very wary of that.

"But psychologically, the win today gives the players great confidence going into the game."

Lennon will welcome winger James Forrest back from a virus and midfielder Beram Kayal has recovered from a groin strain, Adam Matthews had to go off against Kilmarnock with a possible virus.

"Injury-wise we are okay," Lennon added. "Adam felt a bit ill. Maybe there is a virus going about so we have to keep an eye on that but with Kayal and Forrest joining the squad on Sunday, we are looking a wee bit more vibrant again."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

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.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

Footer 365

Premier League: Tony Popovic would be free to leave current club for Crystal Palace job

Western Sydney Wanderers chairman Paul Lederer will not stand in Tony Popovic's way if Crystal Palace approach him.

Sky sources: Alan Irvine will be in charge for West Brom's trip to West Ham on New Year's Day

A senior West Brom source has told Sky Sports News HQ that Alan Irvine will be in charge for the game against West Ham.

Sky sources: Newcastle 'disappointed' over Alan Pardew link to Crystal Palace

Newcastle are disappointed at the timing of the speculation linking their manager Alan Pardew with Crystal Palace.

Mail Box

What's Happened To Everton And Martinez?

There aren't many people still talking about how the Spaniard is better than David Moyes. Plus, thoughts on Jose Mourinho's moaning and Spurs at least being very fit...

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property