Lennon Eyes Sweet Sixteen but Fears French Resistance

NEIL LENNON has declared that he is targeting a win to finalise their place at the top of the Group E and potentially seal a more potentially favourable draw in the Last 32 of the Europa League.

Celtic confirmed their place in the next stage after a 2-1 victory versus Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, thanks to a late goal from Olivier Ntcham.

Ntcham, Jullien and Ajer Celebrates Celtic’s win in Rome

The Celtic manager spoke to the club’s Official website ahead of the clash with Rennes at Celtic Park tonight and the boss confirmed that the team were being driven on by the prospect of winning the group at home and smashing their record points tally by finishing with sixteen points.

“The main motivation is to try and get a 100 per cent record in our home games. We know that if we can win the group it may give us a favourable draw in the second half of the season.

“We’ve never finished a European group stage with more than 10 points before either, so we’d like to do that as well. Up until now, it’s been a great campaign, but we must keep our focus in Europe and in domestic duties as well.”

Lennon’s commitment to a competing across all fronts has been impressive, following Celtic’s win at home to Lazio, the Scottish Champions beat Aberdeen at Pittodrie, especially considering the difficulties when the group draw was made at the beginning of the season.

Lennon is aware that the could come up against a Rennes side with nothing to lose. The French side have a vital trip to St Etienne on Sunday but are rumoured to be considering to play a younger side to blood them into European football. If this is true, they may relish the opportunity to prove to their manager why they should be involved.

“Rennes started the season very well, they’ve been inconsistent of late, but they can come here and play with freedom. The manager has chopped and changed the team a little bit, which makes it difficult to read what type of team they’ll put out. We can concentrate on what we want to get out of the game, and that’s a win and to keep moving in the right direction.”

Lennon said that despite the fact that Celtic have already qualified the game is a challenge to the squad to keep the high standards that have been set this year but relish the occasion.

“Tomorrow night is a glamour game. There’s no real pressure on us, but we’ll ask the players to perform at the standard we know they’re capable of. It’s a game to enjoy rather than endure, and it’s a bit weird going into a European game that’s not must-win. We’re still driven, and I don’t want them to come off that level of performance.”

Watch Neil Lennon’s Media Conference ahead of tonight’s game with Rennes below…

About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

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