NEIL LENNON has warned his Celtic players to expect “a bump in the road here and there” as they chase the magical nine in a row.
The Hoops gaffer saw Scotland’s title kings move TEN points clear at the top of the Premiership after what could prove to be a pivotal midweek in the pursuit of the crown.
While the champions thumped Hearts 5-0 at Parkhead, Steven Gerrard’s side toppled to a 2-1 loss against Kilmarnock to Rugby Park as they continued their shaky start to 2020.
Lennon, who will take his side to Pittodrie on Sunday for the clash against Aberdeen, insisted there is no chance of his players become complacent in the coming months.
The Irishman, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “We just have to keep the tunnel vision now and not worry about what anyone else is doing.
“There’s going to be a bump in the road here and there, I said that in the first half of the season. It will be the same in the second half of the season, as well.
“Are the boys going to get complacent?
“I doubt it very much. I think that’s the mode of thinking here – no complacency, don’t take anything for granted.
“You’re fresh, you’re fit, you look hungry, let’s stay that way. They will maybe want to try to increase the lead if they can.
“The bigger the gap, the happier we will be.
“The level and quality of the performance, the fitness levels of the players is very high. The break was a good time for us, we got some good work into them and are reaping the benefit of it now.”
Celtic, as CQN reported yesterday, have hit 127 goals in this campaign – and that is already six more than they achieved all all last term when they completed the historic treble treble.
Since the turn of the year, they have won all eight of their matches – six in the league and two in the Cup – and racked up 27 strikes at the same time.
Lennon reflected on the midweek triumph as he prepared for the encounter against the Dons and continued: “We were delighted with the win and the way we played against Hearts, a team who could have caused problems with the way they set up. We dealt with it very well.
“You have to pay credit to the players, their motivation and desire to both win the games and do so in the manner they are playing.
“We have a good group and mentally they are in a good place at the minute. We are delighted with the winning run we have been on since we came back.
“It’s not an easy thing to do. I’m delighted with the consistency we have shown, the goals we have scored and a lot of the clean sheets we are keeping as well.
“It’s the sum of all parts. Our defenders are playing well and contributing with goals, the midfield is superb and the frontmen have been breathtaking at times.
“I was really pleased with Greg Taylor on Wednesday, I thought he was immense. He was backed up by a lot of other individuals who are in a rich vein of form at the minute.”
And Lennon also had a warning for his rivals as he added: “Is there more to come? Yeah, I think so.
“We have Elyounoussi to come into our thinking, we have Christie back scoring. Klimala and Soro are going through an adaptation period to get used to things.
“We also have Rogic fighting for a place in the team and squad.”
The Dons will do their best to derail the Parkhead juggernaut in the High Noon showdown in the north east at the weekend – but Derek McInnes will remember his team were four goals adrift by the interval when the teams met at the same venue in October.
A repeat would be welcomed by Lennon and his players.