Lennon calls for improvement from Celtic

 

Neil Lennon is looking for his Celtic side to make amends for their capitulation at Ibrox earlier in the season when Rangers visit Parkhead on Wednesday night.

The Hoops were brushed aside 4-2 in the first Old Firm derby in September and the champions went on to stretch their lead over the Hoops at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League to 15 points by November 5, albeit having played two games more.

However, a Georgios Samaras double in the 2-1 home win over Kilmarnock yesterday extended Celtic's winning run in the SPL to eight games and took Lennon's side to within a point of the Light Blues, who lost 2-1 at St Mirren.

The Celtic manager, though, remembered the frustrating trip to Govan when asked what type of game he expected in midweek.

"We didn't do ourselves justice at Ibrox so I am looking to my team to be highly motivated and certainly play better and compete better than they did in the second 45 minutes of the first Old Firm game," Lennon said.

"If they do that they will give themselves a great chance of winning the game.

"I don't know [how Rangers will approach the game].

"[Rangers manager] Ally [McCoist] has tried a couple of different formations. He has played three up or one up. But, whatever formation we face on Wednesday, they are the champions and have had a good mentality over the last three or four years.

"But we are in a good place and I want us to go out and stamp our authority on the game if we can."

The Northern Irishman accepts Celtic are in the ascendancy going into the game which could see them go top of the table going into 2012.

"Yes, we have won eight in a row and the form is good," he said. "But we will have to play well, we will have to play strongly and have to play the occasion as best we can.

"We want to continue the winning form and if it means having to beat Rangers then so be it."

Lennon was not surprised by Rangers' defeat in Paisley but gave due respect to the Ibrox side.

"I was not surprised at all. Anything can happen - particularly away from home," said the former Celtic skipper.

"It has happened to us on a few occasions and St Mirren are a decent team at home.

"But I can't comment on Rangers.

"What I will say is that they are a point ahead and are current champions and our biggest rivals for the title and we will have to play very well to beat them."

Left-back Emilio Izaguirre, fully recovered from a broken ankle sustained against Aberdeen in August, was on the bench against Killie and defender Kelvin Wilson came on in the second half following his recovery from an Achilles problem.

Lennon says both players have a chance of a starting place against Rangers.

"Izaguirre is in contention," he said. "We wanted to give him some game time but when the Kilmarnock goal went in, we wanted to shore things up and make sure we didn't concede again.

"Kelvin Wilson is also definitely in contention.

"He was unlucky not to start against Kilmarnock."

Killie boss Kenny Shiels was disappointed with his players' reaction to going two goals down before substitute Danny Racchi fired in a consolation goal but knows he has to quickly turn his attention to the trip to St Johnstone on Wednesday night.

The Northern Irishman said: "We deserved to get something from the game.

"We matched them for long periods but it's all ifs, buts and maybes.

"We are back in on Monday morning to prepare for Wednesday's game."

PA

News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
Sport
Sean Abbott
cricketSean Abbott is named Australia's young cricketer of the year
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
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

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea