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Celtic up for the challenge
Published : 25 Apr 2011 14:02:40
Neil Lennon played his strongest side on Sunday and was not disappointed in what they delivered Neil Lennon was fulsome in his praise for his players as they did not lose the physical side of the game against against Rangers on Sunday. Lennon drafted in striker Georgios Samaras and midfielder Ki Sung-yueng to give his side added height and steel for the trip to Ibrox and was rewarded with the point in a goalless draw which swung the SPL title race back to favour Celtic. Samaras was disappointed to see his penalty saved by Rangers keeper Allan McGregor but Lennon was pleased with the way the Greece international and his team-mates matched up to the home side throughout a typically hard-fought 90 minutes. Celtic remain one point behind Walter Smith's side but have a game in hand which could prove crucial. Lennon said: "We are in a good place. We are a wee bit disappointed that we didn't win but we can take a lot of satisfaction in the way we played. My players were strong. They have gone there before and been beaten up but there was none of that. We withstood everything, we defended set-pieces quite well and got stronger and stronger as the game went on. We opened the game up and we had plenty of running in the team. We got a penalty and that could have been a pivotal moment in the game but it didn't go our way. But I have to look at our overall performance and the 13 players who performed did everything for the club." Lennon is confident that 15 points can be won from the last five games to guarantee the title returns to Parkhead but expects life to be made difficult. He said: "They are capable of doing it. But Rangers could quite easily win all their games. We have to be thinking that way and not expect any favours from anyone and take each game as it comes. Every game is a cup final from here on. Teams want to take your scalp and we have to be prepared for that. But there is no doubt about my players' mentality." Lennon gambled on bringing back Joe Ledley on Sunday but the Welshman had to come off at the start of the second half with what looked like a recurrence of a hamstring injury. The Celtic manager said: "We decided to play him because he has been a huge player for us this season and again he played very well until he came off. He will have to have a scan to see how bad the injury is."