NEIL LENNON believes Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic side are capable of beating Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany this evening…
Just as his Hoops team managed in Moscow back in October 2012. Remarkably, only once in 25 attempts have the Parkhead club won a Champions League group stage match outside Scotland.
And Lennon, now boss at Hibs, of course, was the manager who ended the so-called jinx. A late header from Georgios Samaras was sufficient to seal a 3-2 victory against a Spartak Moscow side who finished the match with 10 men.
Gary Hooper and the unfortunate Dmitri Kombarov, with a deflection, were also on target for the triumphant visitors on an another evening of high drama.
The ex-gaffer said: “Winning away in the Champions League is pretty much as hard as it gets for Scottish teams. At Celtic, we were very dominant at home for a long time, but couldn’t apply it on our travels.
“But is this team capable of winning in Germany? I think they are.
“Looking back on Moscow, we didn’t start well and then we scored. Then they scored either side of half-time, but we settled in again and played pretty well. We had an attacking intent, we brought James Forrest on who added pace to the team and Brendan has the players to hurt Monchengladbach, too.
“Whether they can deal with the tempo, atmosphere and environment early on remains to be seen. But I don’t think Celtic were shocked by the Germans’ performance at Parkhead, I just think they were the better team on the night and, hopefully, the tables can turn for them.”
Lennon also acknowledged that third place, and a Europa League spot, would be a huge “consolation prize” for Rodgers, his players and the supporters.
The Irishman added: “The Champions League away record won’t be in his mind. Brendan will just be looking at the here and now. He will believe his team is capable of getting a positive result and they are. They’re in good form and the dominant team in Scotland by a long way so they should park that and totally focus on Europe.
“It’s important Celtic get something out of the game to keep the group going. There’s still a possibility that if they don’t quality for the last 16, they can have a run in the Europa League.
“There are a lot of young players in the team and it would stand them in good stead for next season.”