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Wednesday 22 January 2020

Lennon reckons Bhoys can reach a Euro final

Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Photo: Steve Welsh/PA Wire
Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Photo: Steve Welsh/PA Wire

Celtic manager Neil Lennon sees no reason why a Scottish team cannot reach a European final again.

But Lennon refused to make any bold statement about his team's ambitions this season after they were paired with FC Copenhagen in the last 32 of the Europa League.

Lennon played in the 2003 UEFA Cup final when Celtic lost to Porto, five years before Rangers emulated their progress.

The richest leagues in Europe have since grown even further away from Scotland and many other nations in terms of finances but Lennon believes his club should be striving for the top.

When asked whether a Scottish team could make it to a final again, he said: "Yes. No doubt about it. Why not? We had great success in the last decade, 2003 and 2008, so I think these things can come round again. I'm hoping it will be us one day."

Lennon, whose side topped their group with a game to spare, added: "We all wanted the Champions League but we have made the most of the Europa League so far. Looking at the squad at the start of this campaign, I felt we could do a little bit of damage in the competition. We have done that but there is still a long way to go and a lot of big games ahead.

Manchester United finished top of Group L and will take on Belgian side Brugge, who failed to qualify for the Champions League knockout phase.

Arsenal's Greek opponents Olympiacos also dropped into the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group behind Tottenham.

Wolves have been drawn to play Spanish club Espanyol and Rangers take on Portuguese side Braga.

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