Lennon hails 'greatest night'

Neil Lennon hailed 'the greatest night of my footballing life' after Celtic posted a dramatic 3-0 win over Shakhtyor Karagandy to reach the UEFA Champions League group stages.

Last Updated: 29/08/13 at 10:37 Post Comment

Neil Lennon: Joins in the celebrations as Celtic enjoy their win

Neil Lennon: Joins in the celebrations as Celtic enjoy their win

Trailing 2-0 from the first leg, Kris Commons netted the vital opener in first-half injury time before Georgios Samaras added a second three minutes after the break to level the tie.

James Forrest then scored in injury time to send Celtic Park wild and the Hoops into Thursday's lucrative group stage draw.

Lennon told Sky Sports: "This is the greatest night of my footballing life.

"I know it doesn't mean a lot in the footballing world but what we've come through in the last six or seven weeks has been really difficult and to achieve more or less I think the impossible tonight, speaks volumes for the players in that dressing room and my backroom staff - they've been planning this for a long, long time.

"I've just got a huge feeling of relief but a huge feeling of pride, I don't want to go through this again!"

Lennon had the utmost praise for match-winner Forrest and the rest of his players.

"For some reason there's a section of our support that can't take to him but I don't know why. I thought he was wonderful tonight.

"He's had a lot of injury problems. (He's had) a sciatic problem that we've been working very hard on in the background just to try and get him on the pitch because when he's on the pitch he's such a special player.

All heroes

"But they were all heroes tonight. You know (Efe) Ambrose and (Mikael) Lustig and (Adam) Matthews.

"They were looking dead on their feet really and you were just thinking maybe one more last hurrah, could we nick it, and just that feeling of euphoria at the end, just knowing we're going to the big show again.

"There's been a lot of negativity this week (after the first leg loss) but they certainly got what they deserved tonight."

The Hoops boss admitted he hoped to bring in some new signings, saying: "I need help because I haven't much of that in the way of that.

"It makes the achievement more remarkable."

On who he would like to face in the group stage, Lennon chose Real Madrid and added: "I think that would be pretty special.

"Or maybe a Battle of Britain would be great as well, but I don't care - it's just a magnificent feeling.

"I'm delighted for the players and supporters."

You can watch the Champions League draw live on Sky Sports News from 4pm

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

d like to add players who push their team-mates out of the way to celebrate on their own

exhausted
The Ten Most Hated Things In Football

I

f I were Manuel Pellegrini I would keep quiet and hope the Board didn't notice City not winning anything. If he isn't sacked I'd be astonished.

lfcfan80
Pellegrini: I won't be sacked

S

till I suppose it still gives him at least another year in the job. By the time it comes around , he can always make up another excuse. First it was 3 months , then a year .....Next year ? Whats his excuse with Van Persie ?

spud1
Di Maria 'could peak next year'

Footer 365

Neville 'concerned' over Reds form

Gary Neville has admitted that he is "concerned" that a resurgent Liverpool could qualify for the Champions League ahead of Manchester United.

Boro claim top spot as Derby lose

Middlesbrough became the new Championship leaders as they took advantage of Derby's latest slip by beating Millwall 3-0.

Aston Villa 2-1 West Brom: Benteke's late show helps end Villa's long wait for a win

Tim Sherwood recorded his first win as Aston Villa boss as Christian Benteke's late penalty helped beat West Brom 2-1.

Mail Box

Look Away Now Please, Sherwood...

Sherwood's cringeworthiness, Matic's Wembley celebrations, why LVG must show balls - it's all here in your Wednesday afternoon Mailbox...

United's No 2 Isn't That Bad Either...

One mailboxer is getting in a flap about the claim Man Utd would struggle without De Dea, while there's some anger directed at Chelsea...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company