Celtic Park

Last Game

Celtic 5 - 0 Inverness

Sunday, 24 May 2015, 12:30

Scots Prem

Lennon expects trying night

Celtic boss Neil Lennon expects a tough test when his charges face Shakhter Karagandy in Tuesday's Champions League play-off.

Last Updated: 20/08/13 at 15:02 Post Comment

Neil Lennon: Celtic boss has full respect for Champions League play-off opponent

Neil Lennon: Celtic boss has full respect for Champions League play-off opponent

Lennon hopes his squad will put the greater experience to use when the teams meet in the first leg in the Astana Arena.

But the Hoops boss is wary of the Kazakhstan champions after Shakhter's victory over BATE Borisov helped set-up the play-off encounter.

"Obviously we have more experience than Shakhter but they are at home and they have an excellent home record," Lennon said.

"They have already knocked out BATE Borisov who beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League last season so this is going to be a difficult tie.

"It will be a very difficult tie, particularly the game away from home. The tie is over two games and hopefully we will take some sort of result back to Glasgow.

"Our home form in the Champions League is very good over the years but we know we are in for a very difficult game.

"We are very well prepared for this tie and will give this all our concentration. We are not taking this lightly. We are not here for a holiday.

"We are here to play hard football. We have our own incentives to qualify for the Champions League."

Lennon believes the experience of getting through the same stage of the competition last season will stand him in good stead.

He said: "I suppose after last year you are a little more comfortable. But it is still quite a nerve-wracking time for all us involved although we try not to let that permeate to the players.

"We are relaxed, we had a great result at the weekend against Aberdeen and the players are in good form and looking forward to the game.

"We haven't had much time to gauge but I am very happy with the way the squad has settled.

"I have liked the camaraderie between the players and the new boys have settled in very well.

"Obviously we have lost hugely influential players in Victor Wanyama, Gary Hooper and Kelvin Wilson but we feel have acquired some very good players.

"They will take time to bed in obviously but we are very happy with the way things are going at the moment."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

H

ow magnanimous off him - to leave if he's asked to by the owners? What's the alternative, bunker down in his office claiming squatter's rights if FSG want rid?

feed the bear
Rodgers: I'll go if owners want

Footer 365

Ian Baraclough was delighted Motherwell's game plan worked at Ibrox

Ian Baraclough says Motherwell's game plan worked perfectly as they won 3-1 at Rangers in the Premiership play-off final

Stuart McCall disappointed by slack Rangers in Motherwell defeat

Stuart McCall says Rangers gave their poorest performance under him as they lost their play-off tie against Motherwell

Chris Coleman hopeful Wales will not lost points from Israel win

Wales manager Chris Coleman fears his side would be badly affected if they lose points from their European Qualifier against Israel.

Mail Box

What Is It That FIFA Actually Do?

That's the question raised timidly by someone sat at the back of the room, whilst others remind that UEFA aren't perfect either. Plus a few more gone on to better XIs...

Time To Step Up, Mr Platini...

UEFA should step up and extend the Euros to replace FIFA's tarnished World Cup, say a couple of mailboxers. Also: all hail Carlo, King of the Kop, and plenty more Budget XIs...

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