NEIL LENNON admitted he was “delighted” with his youngsters, despite Celtic’s 2-1 loss in Lyon last night.
The Hoops boss started the game against a full-strength French outfit – with Moussa Dembele leading the line – with four of his top prospects.
Karamoko Dembele, Stephen Welsh, Scott Robertson and Euan Henderson were in the opening line-up and Lennon expressed his joy at how they coped with the step up in their progression through the ranks.
The Irishman, speaking to the Sunday Mail, said: “I don’t think the younger players will have come up against opposition as good as that before. We had four players from the academy out there for an hour against a very good side.
“I think it’s great. I’m pretty pleased with how they did against players of that level and with their contributions.
“Karamoko Dembele showed flashes, which was great. It was a mixture of teams. Physically, it was an examination because these guys have not played football for five months.
“Then the boys who came on for the last half-hour played very well and scored a very good goal.
“I was really impressed against Nice and against Lyon when the senior boys came on it was very good again. There was a real zest about them, which you would expect.
“But I was really pleased with a lot of aspects of our game. Boli Bolingoli had another decent performance and Patryk Klimala was a handful at times, as well.
“We knew it would be a bit of a hotch-potch when we were playing two different teams. I didn’t expect Lyon to play their first eleven, but that didn’t matter. It was a great test for us all and, hopefully, it will help us going forward.
Former fans’ favourite Dembele headed in a fourth-minute opener following some atrocious defending from the Hoops defence.
Memphis Dupay, the ex-Manchester United frontman, claimed a second just before the interval when he swept in a right-wing cross at the near-post when the back-four switched off once again.
Mohamed Elyounoussi hit the consolation goal when he raced in from the left, tricked his way past Brazilian defender Marcelo and another former Bhoys ace, Jason Denayer, to thrash a right-foot drive beyond Anthony Lopes.