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THREE CHEERS FOR LENNY

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NEIL LENNON has received a treble boost as he prepares for tomorrow night’s Europa League Group E encounter against Cluj at Parkhead.

Crocked trio Mikey Johnston, Nir Bitton and Leigh Griffiths are pushing for comebacks after recent injuries forced them onto the sidelines.

An upbeat Lennon, speaking to Celtic TV, said: “We are looking healthy, we have no fresh injuries. There’s a few bumps and bruises, Moritz Bauer’s ankle is still a little bit swollen.

“Nir Bitton and Mikey Johnston are back in training now, so the only long-term absentee is Jozo Simunovic.

“Tom Rogic has a tiny little bit of fluid around the knee, but he should train on Wednesday. Griff is back in training now, but obviously he has missed a few weeks of training. However, the squad depth is good.”

The Hoops warmed up for tomorrow’s meeting with their Champions League conquerors by earning a good point in France in the 1-1 draw with Rennes while Dan Petrescu’s side beat Setie A outfit Lazio in Romania.

Lennon, whose only loss this season was the sensational 4-3 reverse to Cluj in August, continued: “I’m quite happy. They have started the group very well. People talk about revenge, retribution. It’s a motivation for the players because it’s so recent.

“But in terms of the game, it’s a home match in Europe, it’s one we want to win. We got off to a great start in the group, as well, so it’s important we maximise home advantage.”

The Irishman added harsh lessons had been learned in the loss in Glasgow that ended their hopes of making the lucrative group stages of Europe’s elite competition.

Lennon added: “We started at a poor tempo and I think that’s what really cost us.

“You can look at the individual goals we conceded in the second-half, but we let that 45 minutes get away from, us and found ourselves a goal down and chasing the tie, so that’s something we have to look at.

“In terms of their style of play, they are very direct and very effective.

“I think it’s going to be an energetic, high tempo game and I believe that will suit us.”

 
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