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LENNON BACKS CELTIC

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FORMER Celtic boss Neil Lennon is backing the Hoops to mix with the Champions League elite.
The Hibs gaffer has twice managed to lead the Parkhead side through the minefield of the qualifying stages.
And Brendan Rodgers is hoping to put two years in the Champions League wilderness under Ronny Deila behind the team as they prepare for Hapoel Be’er Sheva in Glasgow tonight.
Lennon said: “I think Brendan knows what’s at stake. It sets the whole season up brilliantly.
“I have spoken to him about it. I said: ‘Look, these are your biggest games of the season.’

“The build-up is awful – it’s just like a Celtic-Rangers game. But once the game’s underway, it’s great.

“They are awful to negotiate. You don’t know who you’re going to get, you don’t know if the players are ready yet.

“I think the Celtic players are up to speed now, judging by the performances of late.

“Knowing you’re going back to the group stage and what it means to the club and all those big games to look forward to, it’s special.

“They’ve got a tough draw. I’ve signed an Israeli goalkeeper, Ofir Marciano, and I asked him about Hapoel. He told me they are a very good side.
“I think Celtic will need to take something from Glasgow to there to protect because I think they’re a good side at home.

“They beat Olympiakos – they’ve been regular last-16 campaigners over a number of years – so if it can happen to them, it can happen to anyone.”

Meanwhile That Season in Paradise is now available at www.cqnbookstore.com – you know you want to…
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