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Sunday 19 January 2020

Lennon full of joy for Old Firm tie

Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Photo: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Photo: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire

Neil Lennon insists it is a joy to be Celtic manager as they prepare to face Rangers at Parkhead tomorrow.

The Hoops are five points ahead of their Old Firm rivals at the top of the Scottish Premiership albeit having played a game more.

But the treble treble winners beat the Light Blues 1-0 in the Betfred Cup final at Hampden Park earlier in the month and won 2-0 in their league encounter at Ibrox in September.

Lennon's side have won all 10 home league games this season and 11 in a row in the league, while qualifying for the last-32 of the Europa League, and their relentlessly good form leads him to believe they are playing as well as at any time during his two spells as boss.

The Northern Irishman said: "They are a brilliant bunch. And their mentality is absolutely excellent. They play the game - and it is a difficult thing to do - the way people will perceive the proper way."

The former Celtic captain was asked if there was more pressure on Steven Gerrard's side going into the last game of the year. "I don't know, you would need to ask Steven that," he said.

"For this one, there's a big three points at stake and we really want to win it."

Lennon bristled a bit when reminded that Rangers had been the best side in the Betfred Cup final.

He said: "You have to remember we didn't have a fit centre forward. We had to rejig things with Jonny Hayes (at left-back) as well and we were down to 10 men and they still came through."

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