Lennon prepares for tough test

Neil Lennon insists Celtic will have to up their game if they are to overcome Elfsborg in their next Champions League qualifier.

Last Updated: 24/07/13 at 10:23 Post Comment

Neil Lennon congratulates scorer Efe Ambrose

Neil Lennon congratulates scorer Efe Ambrose

The Scottish champions earned a crack at their Swedish counterparts after goals from Efe Ambrose and Georgios Samaras secured a 5-0 aggregate victory over Cliftonville at Parkhead.

Elfsborg booked their place in the third qualifying round with an 11-1 aggregate win over Latvian side Dougova and Lennon is aware of the threat they pose.

Victory over two legs against the Swedes will guarantee the Hoops at least six Europa League group-stage games but Lennon is looking to again join the continent's elite in the Champions League.

Last season the Hoops reached the last 16, beating Barcelona along the way, and having raked in over £22m from the run the Irishman is desperate for a repeat showing.

"I think the money is imperative for us, for any club really," he said.

"But from a footballing point of view it is about the development of the players, the experience they get and bringing their reputations and careers on.

"That is important but the more successful you are in the competition the money will come with gate revenues, sponsorship and television money.

"It is a fantastic competition and one that went well for us last year but there is no guarantee that we will qualify this year.

"We are going to have to step things up in the next week or so to be ready for Elfsborg.

"We know how important it is but I can't base my whole season on qualifying for the Champions League, I have to look beyond that."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

I

m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

cozens
Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce

N

ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

timbo
Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

Footer 365

Paul Lambert: Aston Villa's new style here to stay despite lack of goals

Paul Lambert is sure the goals will come for Aston Villa if they persist with their current style of football.

Bobby Zamora tells QPR to give Charlie Austin a new contract

Bobby Zamora has told QPR to sort out Charlie Austin's future before his goals attract bids from elsewhere.

Jose Mourinho: It's only a matter of time before John Terry gets new contract

John Terry will definitely stay at Chelsea beyond the end of his current deal, Jose Mourinho says.

Mail Box

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...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

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