NEIL LENNON admits he has been “overwhelmed” by the backing Celtic have had from their fans after season tickets were snapped up for the new season.
The champions, bidding for an unprecedented TENTH successive title, will kick off to a ghost ground when they get the campaign underway against Hamilton Accies at Parkhead on Sunday, August 2.
The Hoops followers will be locked out because of the Scottish Government’s social-distancing guidelines which at present prevent fans into stadiums.
Lennon is preparing his team for the peculiar surroundings as they enter “a momentous season” with so much at stake.
The title kings kicked off last term in front of a shade under 60,000 when they hammered St Johnstone 7-0 on Flag Day in the east end of Glasgow.
However, it will be an entirely different story this time around when Brian Rice brings his Accies team to town.
Lennon, speaking to Celtic TV, said: “The players have to adapt to the environment.
“Obviously, it will be totally different to what they have been used to and the more that we can practice at that, the more they can adapt to it.
“Every game is going to be hugely critical from our point of view because of what we could achieve as a group and as a club.
“It is so important that we concentrate, first and foremost, on the start of the campaign and make sure we are in the right mindset and make sure we are in the right physical condition.”
The Hoops gaffer added: “We’re completely overwhelmed by the support. It is a huge motivation and inspiration for the players.
“Even though the supporters will maybe not be there with us initially, they will know they will have full houses when the gates open again.
“It’s been four weeks now and the boys are itching for a game and that’s what we’ve been building up to.
“I think the players are enjoying it, the facilities are magnificent, the pitches are in mint condition and training’s gone very well so far.”
Celtic have also been given the green light to travel to France for their proposed three warm-up games against Lyon, Nice and Paris Saint-Germain, as CQN reported earlier this morning.