Skip to main content

Lennartsson: Bangura will play against Celtic

The teams are set to go head to head in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League third-round qualifying tie on Wednesday, as they bid for a place in the competition's group stages.

And Lennartsson has no doubt that Bangura, who is in the middle of a one-year temporary spell in Sweden, will play a part in the fixture.

"This is a situation where Celtic are doing what they think will give them the best chance to win," he said.

"We make decisions that benefit us. Celtic's role in this is to send signals that give them the best chance to win. There is 200million Swedish Krona (£20m) at stake for them.

"But we do what we think is best for Elfsborg because there is nothing in Bangura's contract that says that he can't play matches.

"Of course (Bangura) wants to show how good he is. It is rather an inspiration and a challenge to show what he can do for Elfsborg at Celtic Park."

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has predictably taken a different stance, claiming that asking the Sierra Leone international to play would be unfair.

"He is our player and is going back to Celtic. So it is quite logical that he should not play against us," he said.

"Actually, I don't want to put more pressure on him, but Elfsborg should understand that it is a tough situation for him and not let him play.

"We bought him for a great deal of money and know how dangerous he can be. It took time for him to get into the team at Celtic, he needed more playing time and confidence and he seems to have got that now.

"So if he plays on Wednesday, he is definitely a threat."

Bangura, who signed for Celtic in August 2011, has scored seven goals in 18 appearances for Elfsborg since joining the club in January 2012.