Lennon and Smith happy with response to adversity

Neil Lennon praised his Celtic players for coming from behind for the first time this season in the Scottish Premier League to beat Kilmarnock 2-1 at Rugby Park yesterday.

It was Lennon's 13th successive SPL win as Celtic manager – his fifth this season – but it came only after Conor Sammon had given Killie a shock lead after just seven minutes, the first goal the Hoops had conceded in the league this season.

However, Celtic reasserted themselves and just before the break, Anthony Stokes, on for the injured Paddy McCourt, was brought down by Frazer Wright and Daryl Murphy scored with the penalty.

Stokes converted an Emilio Izaguirre cross from close range in the 52nd minute for his first goal since signing from Hibernian and in the end the visitors ran out easy winners to keep them joint-top of the table alongside Rangers.

The Celtic manager was far from pleased at how his side started the game, but happy at the way they turned it around. "We were wasteful in possession early on, and ill-disciplined in our defensive shape at times," he said. "The goal was preventable, we got rolled in midfield and Glenn Loovens turned his back and Sammon got across him and tucked it in.

"Sooner or later we were going to concede a goal and it was the reaction that we were looking for and we got that. I'm delighted that we showed a lot character and as the game wore on, we got stronger and stronger.

"I thought we totally dominated the second half but it's always difficult to break a team down when they set up defensively like that."

On Saturday, Rangers thrashed Dundee United 4-0 at Ibrox and manager Walter Smith was relieved his side maintained their 100 per cent league after a tough midweek game against Manchester United in the Champions League.

"The Champions League games are ones, for us, where you need to expend a lot of energy," Smith said. "There is mental tiredness as well because you need to keep a level of concentration for a hell of a long period so you always concern yourself a little.

"Last season, we dropped a number of points after coming back from Champions League games and you are aware of that aspect. So we are delighted with the way things turned out today," Smith added.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy