NEIL LENNON is delighted Celtic have remained big noises in ghost grounds since the start of the season.
The Hoops boss has looked at freak results across the border with some teams clearly having difficulty coping with the lack of atmosphere generated by fans.
Supporters are still banned from top-flight fixtures in the UK and some scorelines have raised eyebrows in recent weeks with English champions Liverpool, Virgil van Dijk et al, hammered 7-2 by Villa in the Midlands, Manchester City thumped 5-2 by Leicester City at the Etihad and Manchester United walloped 6-1 by Spurs at Old Trafford.
Scotland’s title kings have managed fairly well so far and they will be put to the test again when Steven Gerrard brings his Ibrox squad to the east end of Glasgow a week today for the 12.30pm kick-off.
There will be no supporters allowed to view the action in an encounter where a win will put Lennon’s men back on top of the Premiership with a game in hand.
The Irishman admitted he would have struggled to cope without the encouragement from the team’s vociferous following.
With the government restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic still in force, the team boss will be concentrating on the mindset of his players all the way through to the afternoon of the crucial confrontation.
Lennon, speaking to The Scotsman, said: “We will work with the players as best we can to deal with that and prepping them as best we can. We have to adjust without supporters as best we can.
“The players have done remarkably well. I don’t know how I would have dealt with it because I thrived on atmosphere. I thrived on the crowd . That is missing at the minute, but we are still winning games and winning them well.
“We have had four clean sheets, as well, which has been overlooked. We have tidied up defensively and I can’t ask any more for what they are giving me.”
Lennon reckons the team’s Premiership record of eight wins and a draw – and run of eight straight victories across all competitions – is all the more praiseworthy considering the alien conditions the players have to overcome.
He added: “The squad has played very well. I think there is far more to come from them in terms of level of performance, but I do think still that the lack of supporters in the stadium doesn’t help at times with the intensity of the play.
“You can see that with other results around Europe – you look at Liverpool and Manchester United, Manchester City. We have been pretty consistent in our results and we have adapted as well as anybody to it.
“We were disappointed with the Ferencvaros result. We dominated and we could and should have won, but the response has been magnificent and I am thrilled with their mentality and the amount of work they have done in between the games and in between travelling to Sarajevo and Riga.
“My backroom team have done amazing work with the players and the game preparations, so we are in a good place and long may it continue.”