A ROCKET from Neil Lennon launched Celtic to their 5-0 triumph over Ross County in Dingwall yesterday.
The Hoops gaffer was not satisfied by the performance of his players, despite holding a 2-0 interval advantage through a penalty-kick strike from Odsonne Edouard and an opportunistic effort from Albian Ajeti.
Goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas was also called upon the make a couple of smart saves plus the Highlanders struck the upright with a swinging free-kick that took the Greek international No.1 and his defence by surprise.
Lennon delivered his no-nonsense speech at half-time and they kept their focus as second-half goals from new Bhoy Shane Duffy, with a pulverising header from a Callum McGregor right-wing corner-kick, Kristoffer Ajer and substitute Patryk Klimala wrapped up three points and a bunch of fives.
Lennon, speaking to the Sunday Mail, admitted: “I had to have a word with the players at half-time. We were just too passive for my liking and a little bit slow tempo with the ball and that’s not the way we want to play.
“The second-half was a lot better. We closed the distances a lot better. I thought my goalkeeper had a fine game when called upon, he had some good saves.
“Overall, I’m thrilled. We will get better. We can play better and we will as we go along. This was another sign of how we’re progressing.”
Lennon played with Duffy, Ajer and Christopher Jullien in a back three and said: “It wasn’t a new formation for us as such, but it’s new personnel and sometimes that can take a bit of time. It took us 45 minutes to get to grips with it.
“Credit County, they came and pressed us and made a real game of it. But we showed real quality and power in the second-half and to score five away from home is a great achievement.
“Shane had the two games for Ireland which will have done him the world of good. He hadn’t played that much football. Same with Ajeti.
“He needed a run out and on this occasion he has produced a great striker’s goal. Shane, we all know what the club means to him, to score on his debut was just great.
“After the goal, he just looked peerless, just outstanding. That will give him a lot of confidence. He’s getting used to us, our style of play and we’re getting used to him.”
David Turnbull, bought from Motherwell for £3.25million, was handed his debut off the bench late on and Lennon added: “I was delighted to put him on. He’s a good player and showed some nice touches, as did Ismaila Soro when he came on.”
The next test for the Hoops comes on Wednesday when they travel to Paisley to take on a St Mirren side hammered 3-0 by Hibs yesterday.