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

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Footer 365

Probert to referee FA Cup final

Lee Probert will referee the FA Cup final between Arsenal and Hull next month, the Football Association has announced.

Premier League: Liverpool upbeat on Daniel Sturridge's injury ahead of Norwich game

Liverpool are optimistic that striker Daniel Sturridge will be fit for this weekend's game against Norwich.

Premier League: Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner hails Paul Lambert in bullish statement

Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner has issued a bullish statement in reaction to the suspension of two of his coaches.

Mail Box

Fatigue No Excuse For Giroud Being Cr*p

We have a long mail on why Giroud isn't very good at all, plus some more thoughts on neutrality. Plus, who do you want out of you club this summer and Liverpool moving buses...

Will Liverpool Cope With Parked Buses?

That's the real problem they're going to face next year, says one Man United fan who's already looking forward to the end of this campaign. Plus, thoughts on neutrality...

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