Lennon: Our fate not decided

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has refused to rule out his side's chances of Champions League qualification, despite their 2-0 play-off round first-leg defeat to Shakhtyor Karaganda.

Last Updated: 21/08/13 at 13:25 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  Champions League Specials. Click here to bet.

Neil Lennon: Celtic boss insists Champions League qualification not over yet

Neil Lennon: Celtic boss insists Champions League qualification not over yet

Goals either side of the break at the Astana Arena on Tuesday condemned the Hoops to their first defeat of the season, leaving their chances of progression to the lucrative group stage under threat.

Celtic and Shakhtyor will contest the second leg in Glasgow next week and Lennon believes that the tie is still all to play for.

"It's not over yet. We've got to go back to Celtic Park," he said.

"It's a disappointing result. We should have scored and that would have put a different complexion on the tie.

"There is plenty for me to chew on in terms of chances but Shakhtyor didn't surprise us with the way they played."

The hosts' long throw-ins, the source of the opening goal, caused the Hoops problems throughout the evening and Lennon admitted his disappointment at some of his side's defending.

"We knew they would throw balls forward and we should have dealt with the first one a lot better," he said.

"I don't know how many chances we had tonight - clear-cut ones as well - but if you don't take your chances you make life difficult for yourself. I'm not down and out just yet."

"There are a few players who will be disappointed with their performances tonight. They've got to get better very quickly."

Steven Mouyokolo and Virgil van Dijk were both handed their European debuts for the Hoops, as they started in central defence together for the first time, with Efe Ambrose named on the bench.

Lennon added: "Efe has been in South Africa, Aberdeen and now another flight to Kazakhstan.

"I wanted the extra height to cope with the aerial bombardment that we were going to get. In the main, we dealt with it okay. We just switched off at one throw-in.

"I didn't really feel uncomfortable in the game at all. I thought we would score. But the fact that we didn't just makes it that little bit more difficult now."

Asked if the loss of key players, such as Victor Wanyama, Gary Hooper and Kelvin Wilson, might have contributed to the result, Lennon said: "Possibly. I still think we've got enough in the squad to come through the tie so that's what we will endeavour to do."

Bet with SkyBet  Champions League Specials. Click here to bet.

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

Premier League: Arsenal ease to 3-0 win over Hull City at the KC Stadium

Arsenal cruised to a 3-0 win over Hull City thanks to a double from Lukas Podolski and one from Aaron Ramsey.

Premier League: Tottenham are desperate to keep hold of 'world-class' Hugo Lloris, says Tim Sherwood

Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood says the club are desperate to keep hold of Hugo Lloris this summer.

Premier League: 'Happy' Olivier Giroud wants long-term Arsenal future

Olivier Giroud has pledged his long-term future to Arsenal and wants manager Arsene Wenger to do the same.

Mail Box

That's Why We Didn't Want Jose At United

There is plenty of reaction to Mourinho's antics (Isn't that exactly what he wanted?) plus thoughts on Connor Wickham, Fabio Borini, beach balls and Tim Sherwood...

Kieran's Not The Only One Keeping Notes

Another chap in the mailbox has been keeping notes on comments made by optimistic Man United fans. Plus, Garey Vance is offering a double-or-quits on his new tattoo...

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