NEIL LENNON has revealed Ibrox is one of his favourite Scottish grounds and he is looking forward to returning as Celtic boss for the first time in seven years a week today.
The Irishman will undoubtedly be directly in the line of fire to receive a hostile reception from the home support.
Lennon, though, insisted he will NOT be fazed at the prospect as he prepares for his second Glasgow derby since taking charge on an interim basis in February following the departure of Brendan Rodgers to Leicester City.
The Hoops gaffer won the first meeting in March when goals from Odsonne Edouard and James Forrest made sure of three crucial points in a 2-1 triumph that was fought out in an explosive backdrop of Alfredo Morelos being red-carded for a flying elbow into the face of Scott Brown, Ryan Kent thumping a fist into the skipper’s jaw in the aftermath of the winning goal and Andy Halliday losing the plot following the final whistle.
GOAL-DEN SHOT…James Forrest runs away after scoring winner against Ibrox outfit in March.
It’s all awaiting Lennon and Brown as they head for Govan in seven days’ time and the caretaker gaffer, speaking to the Evening Times, admitted: “It’s definitely different going there with Celtic than Hibs.
“It will also be strange not having that support at the back of the goal.
“But, you have to go and play the game, not the occasion. Play the game, play the opposition. So the mindset has to be right.
“It’s always a great occasion there. I like Ibrox as a stadium, believe it or not, and I enjoy going there. I look forward to it.
“I think it’s a nice stadium. I like that old-fashioned sort of traditional build. The pitch is always excellent while there’s obviously always a cracking atmosphere. It tests you.
“You have to be tested in football, you have to be challenged and you have to be able to step up to that and thrive in that environment. I want my players to do that next Sunday.”
Lennon had a great track record at Ibrox as boss of the Easter Road outfit – he guided the team to two wins there last season and drew earlier this term.
He added: “We did well there with Hibs, played very well. But I think Rangers are improving. You’ve got to get the mind-set right and make sure you start the game well.
“I’m not going to comment on Steven’s season until maybe the end of the season. They’re doing quite well, though.
“But Celtic’s a different animal to Hibs. I think we’ve got some great players in the squad who play the big occasions very well. So, I’m looking forward to that.”