FORMER Celtic boss Neil Lennon admits it is an “awesome” prospect to take on Manchester United in the Europa League.
The Irishman’s Cypriot shock troops Omonia Nicosia were drawn against Erik Ten Hag’s club, Spanish cracks Real Sociedad and Moldovan outfit Sheriff Tiraspol in the group stages ballot yesterday.
Lennon departed the Hoops in February last year only two days after a dismal 1-0 defeat to relegation-threatened Ross County in Dingwall as the club’s bid for the historic tenth successive title disintegrated in a rubble of disappointment.
MAN ON A EURO MISSION…Neil Lennon is looking forward to pitting his wits against Erik Ten Hag.
However, the two-time Parkhead gaffer is back in the big-time after his team’s 4-0 aggregate victory over the Belgians of Gent, as CQN reported.
Relishing the prospect of taking on Ten Hag and his big-name stars, Lennon said: “Facing Manchester United is awesome.
“To play in Old Trafford with those players like Ronaldo, De Gea and Rashford.
“Even me going up against Ten Hag is something amazing. We can gain so much from playing teams like that.
“And Real Sociedad is a very big team, while for Sheriff Tiraspol we will try to get information from Bruno who played there.”
Lennon came up against United in his playing days with Leicester City in the Premier League and Celtic in the Champions League.
UNITED WE STAND…Neil Lennon celebrates with Paul Telfer at the end of a memorable evening following Shunsuke Nakanura’s unstoppable free-kick dumped Manchester United 1-0 at Parkhead on November 21 2006.
The ex-Hoops chief, speaking to the Daily Mail, added: “It’s something fantastic, something wonderful.
“To be drawn with these teams can only bring profit to the club, the team, the players and everyone.
“Manchester United is a huge club and it is brilliant to face them. Real Sociedad and Sheriff Tiraspol are strong, too.
“It’s too early to talk about goals in the Europa League group. We will have to wait to see who our target will be.”
Former Celtic right-back Adam Matthews, who joined the Cypriot outfit in the summer after leaving Charlton at the end of his contract, has become a key player for the club.
And one-time Ibrox winger Brandon Barker, who was with Lennon during his managerial stint at Hibs as a loan player from Manchester City, is also enjoying an upsurge in his career in the sunshine island.