Neil Lennon: Celtic must win games in hand and take it from there

Rangers v Celtic – Scottish Premiership – Ibrox Stadium
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Neil Lennon is looking for a blemish-free record until the end of the season following Celtic’s luckless 1-0 defeat to Rangers at Ibrox.

The visitors dominated the first Old Firm derby of 2021 on Saturday but could not find a way past veteran Gers goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

The Scottish Premiership fixture turned in the 62nd minute when Hoops defender Nir Bitton was sent off by referee Bobby Madden for wrestling striker Alfredo Morelos to the ground to deny him a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

Celtic skipper Callum McGregor put the ball into his own net just seven minutes later from a corner to leave the Light Blues 19 points clear of their bitter rivals at the top of the table, albeit having played three games more than the nine-in-a-row champions.

It was a frustrating conclusion to the game for Parkhead boss Lennon, who revealed before kick-off that French defender Christopher Jullien would be out for up to four months with a knee injury sustained against Dundee United in midweek.

The Northern Irishman told Celtic’s YouTube channel about his aims for the second half of the campaign.

He said: “We need to win the games in hand and take it from there.

“We just need to win every game from here on in as best we can.

“I am just frustrated that we maybe shot ourselves in the foot a bit in just one moment.

“Jeremie Frimpong, David Turnbull, Ryan Christie and Callum McGregor were all outstanding for the first hour then we had to rejig things.

“But overall I am really proud of the players.

“They played very well. We have a lot of football to play but we have to play really well and stay on it from now to the end of the season.”

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