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

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Transfer news: Juventus confirm Arturo Vidal will stay despite Man Utd link

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed that Arturo Vidal will not be joining Manchester United this summer.

Transfer news: Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock expecting busy few days

New manager Neil Warnock is braced for a few days of chaos as he tries to add to his squad at Crystal Palace.

Europa League: Tottenham face Besiktas; Everton up against Lille and Wolfsburg

Tottenham will face Arsenal's UEFA Champions League victims Besiktas in the group stage of the Europa League.

Mail Box

Ginger Pirlo? Don't Make Me Laugh...

A Sunderland fan in the mailbox is surprised by Jack Colback's call up to the England squad. Plus, thoughts on Welbeck and Liverpool's Champions League draw...

Don't Forget Chelsea Also Need A Striker

With Diego Costa struggling for fitness, one Chelsea fan pipes up in the mailbox to remind us that the Blues also need a striker. Plus, thoughts on Rooney as captain...

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