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Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round

Celtic boss warns Bangura

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has warned on-loan striker Mo Bangura he would be unwise to play against them for Elfsborg if the two sides meet in UEFA Champions League qualifying.

Last Updated: 19/07/13 at 16:23 Post Comment

Mo Bangura: Celtic striker currently on loan with Elfsborg

Mo Bangura: Celtic striker currently on loan with Elfsborg

Bangura is on loan with the Swedish side until the end of the year after failing to score in 16 appearances after joining from Swedish side AIK in 2011 and the two sides may meet in the third qualifying round of the competition.

Celtic secured a 3-0 win in the first leg of their second round qualifier against Cliftonville on Wednesday, while Elfsborg lead Latvian team Daugava Daugavpils 7-1 from their first meeting, a game in which Bangura scored.

Elfsborg have stated that Bangura will be available for selection against his parent club but Lennon has suggested it might be better if he skipped the tie.

"There is no UEFA ruling for it but I think it would be in his best interests not to play the game and if I get the opportunity to speak to him I will be telling him that as well," said Lennon.

"Were Elfsborg to succeed, in the longer term I don't think it would look good for Mohamed's future here.

"I won't speak to Elfsborg but my take on it is that in his current situation it wouldn't be a good idea. If he played it would put him in a compromising situation.

"I think it would be a very difficult situation for him mentally as well so I think it would be best for all parties if he didn't participate in either of the ties.

"He is our player at the end of the day and we have loaned him out to that club. The only reason we put him out on loan is to get some game time.

"He is playing in an environment that he knows, he has done very well, so hopefully he will come back a better player."

Lennon admits he would rather have avoided facing Elfsborg but will look for inspiration from last season's qualifying victory over their compatriots Helsingborgs if they do end up facing them.

"It is a tough draw and another Swedish team like we had last year," added Lennon.

"When I looked at the results from the other evening, I was thinking 'I hope we don't get Elfsborg' but there you go.

"Helsingborgs had a really handsome result in the previous round last year before they played us. I hope we can replicate the two performances against them.

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