Neil Lennon believes the clean sheet Celtic kept in their 1-0 win over Elfsborg at Parkhead on Wednesday night could be key to getting past the Swedish side in the second leg of their Champions League third qualifier
It was not a vintage performance from the Hoops who huffed and puffed for long spells against the organised and at times robust Swedish champions before a second-half header from Kris Commons gave them the advantage for the trip to Boras next week.
The Celtic boss said: "I am delighted with the performance and the result. They made it difficult for us to break them down but it was not frustrating, it was understandable.
"We weren't at our best but that was always going to be the case, there is still a bit of rust there. We still have a lot to do in the tie but we are confident.
"The crucial thing is clean sheet. That is important. If we score over there Elfsborg have got to have three.
"The tie is probably in the balance but we are confident that we can go there and get a result.
"The Astroturf might change things with the way I pick my team. But I was pleased with result. I would have taken 1-0 before the game."
Much of the attention was on Mo Bangura, who, as expected, took his place in the Elfsborg side against his parent club who had tried and failed to prevent the 24-year-old striker, on loan to the Swedes for one year, from playing in either of the ties.
Bangura was jeered each time he touched the ball but kept the Celtic defence occupied without causing material damage.
Lennon said: "I thought he did well, considering it was a thankless task. I thought Efe Ambrose and Kelvin Wilson played him very well."