Lennon: I feared for players

Celtic boss Neil Lennon admitted he was concerned about the safety of his players during their fourth round Scottish Cup replay victory at Arbroath.

Last Updated: 13/12/12 at 07:14 Post Comment

Neil Lennon: Felt the pitch was a real leveller

Neil Lennon: Felt the pitch was a real leveller

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In a game played in freezing conditions, the Gayfield Park pitch was rock hard and the SPL leaders struggled at times.

Lennon said after the 1-0 win: "It was a performance full of character.

"It was a horrible night. The pitch got worse as the game went on and you could see how difficult it was to play on. It became almost like an ice rink.

"I was worried about the safety of the players but they showed their professionalism tonight and great character. The pitch was definitely a leveller."

Adam Matthews' brilliant first-half strike was the difference between the two sides and Lennon was full of praise for his right-back.

The Northern Irishman said: "He's a great athlete, he's got great pace and we've been asking him to do more of that.

"He was far more productive in his offensive play on Saturday and again tonight. He was probably our best outlet and the goal was a real thing of beauty."

Arbroath felt a little aggrieved at not forcing the game into extra-time after having a 66th-minute goal by Steven Doris ruled out by referee Craig Charleston - apparently for a foul on Hoops keeper Fraser Forster.

Player-manager Paul Sheerin said: "I didn't see much wrong with the goalkeeper, I didn't see too much impeding. It didn't look like a foul, that's for sure."

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e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

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arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

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