Lennon: A Brilliant Performance and a Brilliant Win
A clearly delighted Neil Lennon admitted that he couldn’t have asked for more from his players after they thumped Estonian champions Nomme Kalju 5-0 at Celtic Park on Wednesday night.
The result all but secures Celtic’s lay in the next round of the Champions League, but it was the display from his charges that the Celtic manager was delighted with.
Speaking after the match, Lennon said: “I enjoyed the goals and great attacking play on show, particularly in the second half.
“That’s obviously a good indicator so early in the season, and to negotiate tonight 5-0 is all I can ask for really. A brilliant performance and a brilliant win.
“The first goal was scored from a set play, great delivery and Kris [Ajer] has gone and attacked it. We looked a threat from set plays, particularly in the first half, I thought we were a bit tentative to start with but once we found our tempo we were very good and obviously the goal settles us down.
“When you come in at half-time 3-0 up you just want to go to four, five and that’s exactly what they did.
"Never say never, but we’re in a brilliant position and I can’t ask any more from the players. It’s a really good marker we’ve put down going forward in these qualifiers.
“We’re a work in progress, we know if we progress that the opposition is going to be stiffer and these games will benefit the players as we go along.”
After being out of action for seven months due to off field personal issues, Leigh Griffiths scored his first goal since December, and Lennon believes that the Scotland international will keep banging the goals in for his club.
He added: "You always think he’ll hit the target or make the goalkeeper make the save, and it’s a great skill he has. He’s just a natural born goalscorer.
“You can see he’s still a little bit short in his conditioning and he’s got a bit of work to do but the reception he got last week and tonight should mean the world to him. It’s great that he’s got the season off with a goal.
"We were a little bit inconsistent from set plays last year, but now with Griffiths coming back and obviously Ryan [Christie] we’ve got a couple of technicians there who can put balls into good areas.
“[Jozo] Simunovic showed he’s going to be a threat toward the end of last season and Ajer, who we normally use as a decoy, can go and attack the ball. Then when [Christopher] Jullien gets up to speed he’s another real threat."