Skip to main content

Feel-good factor in place at Celtic ahead of Lazio test – Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon believes Saturday’s comprehensive 5-2 Betfred Cup semi-final win over Hibernian has left Celtic in good shape for facing Lazio on Thursday.

Attacker Mohamed Elyounoussi and skipper Scott Brown, who passed a late fitness test, both bagged a brace at Hampden Park with midfielder Callum McGregor also on the scoresheet.

Midfielder Melker Hallberg and half-time substitute Florian Kamberi netted for the Easter Road side but to no avail as the treble treble champions
clinched their 30th successive domestic cup tie win.

The Scottish champions now turn their attention to the Europa League and the return game against Lazio on Thursday night, after beating the Italian giants 2-1 at Celtic Park last month.

The Hoops are top of Group E with seven points from three fixtures and the Hoops boss believes they could garner more in Italy.

“It is fantastic,” said Lennon, who revealed left-back Boli Bolingoli came off at half-time with a hamstring problem which could leave him a doubt for Thursday.

“What a game to look forward to. We know what a huge incentive there is to go there and get a result.

“Off the back of Saturday, psychologically, the feel-good factor, the players will be in a good place.

“They will all be wanting to play because when you are playing well and scoring goals and playing the kind of football they are producing you just want to keep going.

“You don’t want to train, you just want to get out there and play again.

“It is a titanic game in front of us, we know the calibre of opposition we have got on Thursday night but it is not beyond them.”

Lennon had said Brown would struggle to shrug off a knock picked up in the midweek win over St Mirren at Parkhead.

However, the veteran midfielder was in his usual inspiring form for the Hoops but played down his two-goal contribution as he looked forward to taking on the Serie A outfit.

The 34-year-old told Celtic’s YouTube channel: “It has been a while since I scored two goals, I was told 2014.

“It was nice to get a couple of goals but it is not about scoring the goals, it is about getting to a cup final.

“Everyone is looking forward to Rome. We are in a good place now, we have been scoring goals, we have been defending well. So we need to make sure we maintain that.”