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

H

ilarious, thanks for that. But if I may, I do suspect the reason of your partners' ire is not Tottenham, but most probably all the compusilve gambling :)

DannySmith
Backing Costa To Keep Banging 'Em In

T

wo police horses in a paddock. Horse 1: What's with the long face? Horse 2: I'm working St James Park this weekend.

hump3.
Pardew braced for protests

T

wo things. First, I can't stop reading your name as 'Dane Bowers'. Second, you used the words 'philosophy' and 'Redknapp' in the same sentence.

ajsr1982
Can United's Defence Handle Ulloa?

Footer 365

Indian Super League: Adrian Mutu and Mikael Silvestre to play in India

Ex-Chelsea and Juventus forward Adrian Mutu to sign for FC Pune City in the Indian Super League, Sky sources understand.

Premier League: Arsenal win 3-0 at Aston Villa to end the hosts' unbeaten start

Aston Villa’s unbeaten start to the season was ended by a devastating goal blitz as Arsenal enjoyed a 3-0 away win.

Premier League: Newcastle draw with Hull City as Papiss Cisse scores two

Substitute Papiss Cisse saved the day for Newcastle and under-fire manager Alan Pardew in their 2-2 draw with Hull City.

Mail Box

Liverpool Aren't Even Exciting This Season

Liverpool fans are seemingly resigned to slipping back into mediocrity, which in September isn't exactly ideal. Plus better Arsenal, Allardyce praise and an excited Saint...

Be Careful What You Wish For, Gooners

That's the message from a Man United fan in the mailbox. Plus, thoughts on Paul Lambert's new contract, the Alan Pardew dilemma at Newcastle and lots more...

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