“We’ve only left Chris Jullien behind because he’s still struggling with his back,” Neil Lennon

Celtic manager Neil Lennon spoke to the media from the team hotel in Riga via video call today to discuss tomorrow evening’s vital Europa League qualifier.

On tomorrow evening’s game, Lenny is well aware of its significance. “Hopefully last season will stand us in good stead for these games. This is a one-off tie and we have to get everything right.”

One key player who will not feature is French defender Christopher Jullien but apart from that there are no further injury concerns. “We’ve only left Chris Jullien behind because he’s still struggling with his back. The rest of the squad that was available at the weekend have travelled.”


In terms of the local situation in Latvian capital for the visiting Scottish Champions, Neil Lennon said: “The only restriction we have is we can’t leave the hotel but for training tonight at the stadium and the game tomorrow. The players seem quite relaxed and the facilities here are excellent.”

The Celtic manager will not be under-estimating tomorrow’s opponents. “They’ll be a tough team to break down. In Kule Mbombo they have a very physical, strong centre-forward. They have good discipline in their shape and, obviously, we’re away from home in Europe so we know that brings its own difficulties.”

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“They had a great result against Copenhagen last year where they won 1-0 and they lost the tie over two games. This is going to be a very difficult game for us so we’re under no illusions about that.”

He’s determined to do everything possible to prepare the team for what could be a tricky tie. “The players are well prepared for it. We’re away from home against relatively unknown opponents. We’re trying to prepare them as best we can and they’re well aware of what’s ahead of them.”

And Neil Lennon confirmed that Kris Ajer will start tomorrow amid the ongoing transfer speculation. “There have been no concrete offers, no confirmation of anything,” the Celtic manager said.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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