Lennon up for tough challenge

Celtic manager Neil Lennon admits that their draw for the UEFA Champions League could not have been much worse.

Last Updated: 30/08/13 at 06:42 Post Comment

Neil Lennon: Looking forward to Champions League group stages

Neil Lennon: Looking forward to Champions League group stages

World Cup 2014

Check out the latest outright odds on next summer's World Cup in Brazil

The Scottish champions, who sealed their place in the group stages with a famous 3-0 win Shakhter Karagandy on Wednesday, were handed a group full of European heavyweights.

Barcelona, AC Milan and Ajax will provide the opposition for Lennon's side and, although he admits it will be tough, he does feel it represents some huge nights for the club.

"It is the best and the worst draw we could have got," Lennon told Sky Sports News.

"In terms of glamour I don't think it comes any better than Barcelona, Ajax and AC Milan but in terms of football it is probably the most difficult we could have got. I think there is a lot of excitement and the hard work was already done and we can really enjoy this tournament now.

"In terms of travelling, and the players obviously, it is not that bad and three wonderful footballing arenas.

"We get the chance to lock horns with Barcelona again and we are looking forward to three more great nights at least at Celtic Park and there is so much to savour about the draw.

"But from my point of view, and from a footballing point of view, it is going to be hugely difficult to even come through the first three phases of the group."

Lennon admits that he will be looking to add more players to his squad in the coming days before the transfer window closes and he says being in the group stages will help.

"It will in terms of even attracting players, due to the quality of player we are looking for," he continued.

"We lost three quality players in Gary [Hooper], Kelvin [Wilson] and Victor [Wanyama] and we haven't really replaced them - we have tried and the six seven weeks leading up to last night is always fraught, and we had to produce the team to come through and it just adds to the reputation of the team."

Lennon admits that Celtic were desperate to make the group stages, saying: "This means everything, the Scottish game is much maligned.

"We know the financial climate here, clubs are in trouble and people on the outside looking in think Celtic are going to win the league so you don't get much credit for that but for me personally and my development as a manager this means everything to me.

"Now it is all about football and can we take them on and work with more exciting players?"

World Cup 2014

Check out the latest outright odds on next summer's World Cup in Brazil

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

Contract news: Tim Howard has been handed an extension to his Everton contract

Tim Howard will be staying with Everton until at least 2018 after agreeing a two-year extension to his contract.

Neymar and Jordi Alba will miss the bulk of the remainder of the season

Barcelona forward Neymar has been ruled out for up to a month due to a left foot injury.

Transfer news: Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino warns off Luke Shaw suitors

Mauricio Pochettino says in-demand defender Luke Shaw will be staying at Southampton.

Mail Box

Mignolet Is The Reason For Liverpool Flying

Mignolet's bad kicking is the reason for Liverpool's success, whilst one man keep notes on F365 mails. Plus England excitement, Arteta and a bad Walsall experience...

City: Bottle Jobs, A Laughing Stock...

There are some harsh words for Manchester City and Manuel Pellegrini in the Mailbox this morning, as well as some rather nicer ones for Tony Pulis and his magic hat...

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