You can read 9 more articles this month
NEIL LENNON wants Celtic to park their burgeoning Europa League aspirations and quickly focus on the home front at Ross County on Sunday.
The Hoops’ boss was delighted that the emphatic 3-1 win over French side Rennes on Thursday night confirmed the Scottish champions as group winners for the first time with one fixture remaining.
Breaking the 10-point barrier for the first time by moving on to 13 ahead of the final Group E match against Cluj in Romania next month was also pleasing for him.
However, there is no respite for Lennon’s side as they face the long trip to Dingwall, where they will resume their quest to win nine titles in a row in the Premiership, in which they lead Old Firm rivals Rangers on goal difference.
“We are in good form,” said the Parkhead boss, who will assess striker Odsonne Edouard after he missed the Rennes game with a niggle.
“It is difficult. It is away from home, a quick turnaround and obviously a long travel on Saturday, so we will get the players recovered as quickly as we can.
“We’ll get them in on Saturday, get some second-day recovery and then we’ll travel.
“It’s a difficult game. We know our priority is the league so we can finish with the European in terms of competitiveness and maybe we can fully concentrate on domestic duties.
“Ross County had a really good start to the season. They have just come off a little bit but they are at home.
“Teams raise their game when we are in town so we know how fraught the game could be. But we’re in a good place, not taking anything for granted, and we have to stay really focused now because the games are coming thick and fast.”
The Hoops had already qualified for the last 32 of the competition before Rennes arrived in Glasgow but Lennon had stressed the importance of winning the group to ensure the possibility of a more favourable draw.
Goals from makeshift centre forward Lewis Morgan, in for Edouard, Ryan Christie and second-half substitute Mikey Johnston had the home side in easy street before Rennes substitute Adrien Hunou headed in a late consolation for the visitors.
Scotland international Greg Taylor, who made his European debut for Celtic in the absence of injured Boli Bolingoli and Jonny Hayes, is relishing a busy December where the Hoops will play nine games.
The former Kilmarnock left-back said: “We will see who we get in the last 32 but at this club you just have to take one game at a time.
“There are so many competitions and we are hoping to do well with them all.
“It is not going to be easy up there. We know Ross County will make it difficult for us. But the next couple of days the boys will rest and recover and they will be ready to go come Sunday.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.