Lennon demands better start

Neil Lennon admits Celtic will have to be on top of their game from the opening whistle when Barcelona visit Celtic Park in Tuesday's Champions League showdown.

Last Updated: 29/09/13 at 07:52 Post Comment

Neil Lennon: Aware that Barcelona are notorious fast starters

Neil Lennon: Aware that Barcelona are notorious fast starters

Celtic looked off the pace in the early stages of Saturday's Scottish Premiership encounter at Kilmarnock before hitting their stride with a goal from Kris Commons and two in as many minutes from Georgios Samaras.

Killie fought back to make it 3-2 at half-time, but Samaras completed his hat-trick with three minutes left before Amido Balde made sure of the points in added time.

Lennon was also critical of the way his side let Killie back into the game, and he knows they must cut of the mistakes if they are to repeat last season's famous win over the Spanish giants.

"I thought we were sloppy at times and a wee bit pedestrian at the start," admitted Lennon after the 5-2 win at Rugby Park. "I don't know if it was the weather or the pitch, we just looked like we were out for an easy-ish type of game.

"I didn't think we started the game well at all. After the first goal the reaction was superb and I thought the second and third goals were quality.

"Then we got a bit lackadaisical at the back. Virgil van Dijk gave a free-kick away when Michael Gardyne was not going anywhere and we got done on a give and go.

"Obviously I wasn't best pleased at half-time but I thought the second-half performance was superb. I thought we dominated the game and limited Kilmarnock to very little and we looked a threat going forward.

"But I don't think we will (start slowly against Barcelona). I think the temperature will be cooler, we will be under the lights and we are playing Barcelona.

"They are notoriously fast starters, in the recent game against Sociedad they were three up in 15 minutes so we have to be very wary of that.

"But psychologically, the win today gives the players great confidence going into the game."

Lennon will welcome winger James Forrest back from a virus and midfielder Beram Kayal has recovered from a groin strain, Adam Matthews had to go off against Kilmarnock with a possible virus.

"Injury-wise we are okay," Lennon added. "Adam felt a bit ill. Maybe there is a virus going about so we have to keep an eye on that but with Kayal and Forrest joining the squad on Sunday, we are looking a wee bit more vibrant again."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

Footer 365

Raheem Sterling will not resume Liverpool contract talks until the summer

Raheem Sterling has confirmed that he will not resume talks over a new contract with Liverpool until the summer.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane wants to play for England U21s at European Championship says Roy Hodgson

Harry Kane wants to "finish the job" and go to the European U21 Championship this summer, according to Roy Hodgson.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila keen on new loan for Jason Denayer

Celtic manager Ronny Deila will try to persuade Jason Denayer and Manchester City to extend the centre-back's loan.

Mail Box

Is This The End Of Ex-Players As Managers?

Do massive wages and cushty TV numbers signal the end of the ex-high-profile player turned manager? Plus Liverpool fans don't actually say the 'next year' thing...

A Solution For The Premier League's 39th Game...

One morning Mailboxer solves the 39th game conundrum. Plus England were actually alright, Harry Kane is rubbish again and do Arsenal have the most embarrassing fans?

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