Lennon: CL a sub for Old Firm

Neil Lennon claims the Champions League has been a "great substitute" for the absence of Rangers from the SPL this season.

Last Updated: 05/12/12 at 09:10 Post Comment

Neil Lennon: Misses ding-dongs with Rangers

Neil Lennon: Misses ding-dongs with Rangers

Neil Lennon claims the Champions League has been a "great substitute" for the absence of Rangers from the Scottish Premier League this season.

The Ibrox club relaunched itself in Division Three for the start of this season after financial problems consigned them to liquidation in the summer.

The loss of four Old Firm derbies in the SPL, according to the Hoops boss, has been compensated by Celtic's Champions League journey which could continue still after Wednesday night's final Group G match against Spartak Moscow at Parkhead.

With seven points from five games, including a famous 2-1 home win over Barcelona, the Scottish champions will go through to the last 16 if they get a better result against Spartak, who are consigned to the bottom of the table, than Benfica get in the Nou Camp.

When asked about life without Rangers at the pre-match press conference at Celtic Park on Tuesday night, Lennon said: "There is no doubt it has been difficult at times.

"There has been an economic problem with not having the four Old Firm games this season, a lot of revenue and interest has been taken away.

"Getting through to the Champions League has been a sort of great substitute, certainly for the players and supporters, they have really enjoyed the campaign so far.

"As regards next year, it will be the exact same remit. I think we might have three qualifiers to get through so it will make qualifying even more difficult.

"But that is just the reality of where we are so we have to accept that and make the best of what we have and that is exactly what Celtic are trying to do."

Spartak, with three points from five games, have nothing but pride to play for but caretaker coach Valery Karpin insists his side will not be taking the game lightly.

He said: "No, we will take this as a serious game and there will be no place for experiments, except with maybe two or three players.

"We have a lot of things to prove and it us up to the players to prove they are up to the challenge."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

A

rturo Vidal, James Rodriguez, Angel Di Maria...........who cares we have Mark Oxley.......Ah tis good to be Hibs fan :)

frakessmee
Hull keeper agrees Hibs loan

I

t's just a ride. Bill Hicks is sorely missed, what a prophet and still relevant twenty years after his death. I'm glad though he didn't get to see George Bush Jnr as President.

thesza888
Wilshere: Is He Smoking Enough?

W

hile not comparing the ability of Wilshire to Dr Socrates of Brazil, didn't he do about forty a day?

nedsmar
Wilshere sorry for smoking

Footer 365

Transfer news: Swansea boss Garry Monk insists Wilfried Bony is not for sale

Swansea boss Garry Monk is adamant that only an “astronomical” bid could prise Wilfried Bony away from the club.

Premier League: Manchester United's Juan Mata backs Louis van Gaal's winning mentality

Juan Mata has hailed Louis van Gaal and believes that the Dutchman will bring a winning mentality to Manchester United.

Transfer news: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger prepared to take gamble on Calum Chambers

Arsene Wenger admits signing Calum Chambers from Southampton is somewhat of a gamble, but one he believes will pay off.

Mail Box

Reasons To Believe That Van Gaal Will Be The Best

Some supporters sound oh so confident on Louis Van Gaal's excellence. Plus thoughts on shirt sales, best signings, football sevens and a good deal more besides...

Are Pre-Season Tours Really A Problem?

Are pre-season tours really a problem? Liverpool went to Australia last summer and it didn't prevent them from having a good season. Plus, thoughts on LvG and keepers...

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