Lennon in 'must not lose' vow

Neil Lennon admits his side's chances of being involved in Europe after Christmas would hang by a thread if they failed to take all three points from Ajax at Parkhead on Tuesday.

Last Updated: 22/10/13 at 21:52 Post Comment

Neil Lennon: 'We must not lose'

Neil Lennon: 'We must not lose'

Celtic are bottom of their UEFA Champions League qualifying group after defeats in their opening two matches against AC Milan and Barcelona.

Ajax have one point against their name following a 1-1 draw against Milan in Amsterdam and Lennon insists anything less than a victory would leave the Hoops on the brink of elimination.

"Put it this way, tomorrow is a must-not-lose game as I am confident with this team that we can perform away from home as well," he told Sky Sports News.

"Winning the game would put us in a really good position within the group but losing would probably end our aspirations for trying to qualify.

"I watched Ajax on Saturday night (drew 1-1 at Twente) and they came on very strong in the second half and probably deserved to take something out of the game.

"They are going to give us problems the way they move the ball about, the way they play the game. They have pace in their team in wide areas but we're ready.

"And we're looking forward to it. We know what's at stake and the fact that we are at home gives us a slight edge."

And Lennon is confident Kris Commons will be back in his starting line-up for the return in Amsterdam early next month after a hamstring injury ruled him out of Tuesday's match.

"He's been for a scan and we're waiting on confirmation but he is feeling a lot better now," he said.

Commons will be joined on the sidelines by Scott Brown (suspended), Adam Matthews (shoulder) and Derk Boerrigter (ankle) but Emilio Izaguirre has recovered from illness and should start while Mikael Lustig will undergo a late check on his hip injury.

"Both Mikael and Emilio trained today," said Lennon. "Emilio will be fine and we'll assess Mika tomorrow. We're pretty hopeful he'll be fit.

"Joe Ledley only played 20 minutes on Saturday after a month out so it's debatable whether he'd be able to do the 90 minutes against Ajax."

Watch Celtic take on Ajax at Parkhead from 7.30pm on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports 3.

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

Y

es, these stats are right. Rio Ferdinand definitely had a better debut than Fernando.

that man
Top Ten Debutants From Opening Weekend...

I

know it's only one game, and Arsenal have got an amazing midfield as is; but seriously, is Arsene Wenger the only person on Earth who doesn't want Cesc at their club?

Ezy_Rider
Top Ten Debutants From Opening Weekend...

P

S - 'Squeezes [English] out of his mouth like it's an elastic band he's found in his lamb bhuna' - bravo. Marvellous stuff

Ezy_Rider
Football Managers On TV: Paul Lambert

Footer 365

Premier League: Arsene Wenger keen to strengthen Arsenal's defence

Arsene Wenger admits he would like to strengthen his Arsenal squad defensively before the end of the transfer window.

Football Association looking into allegations against Malky Mackay and Iain Moody

The FA is looking into allegations made by Cardiff against former manager Malky Mackay and head of recruitment Iain Moody.

League One: Coventry to return to Ricoh Arena

Coventry City have agreed a two-year deal to return to the Ricoh Arena.

Mail Box

Rojo Is A Better Signing Than Hummels

There's some big talk in the morning mailbox, which claims that Man United were right to sign Marcos Rojo instead of Mats Hummels. Plus, one Gooner's happy Arteta's out...

So Long And Good Luck To Nani

A Mailbox that offers best wishes to a departing hero, defends Olivier Giroud, tells us to steady on over Calum Chambers and makes some amusing predictions...

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