Lennon admits title is all-but won

26 February 2012 07:17

Neil Lennon admits only a "huge collapse" will prevent the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title heading to Parkhead after Gary Hooper's second-half strike in the 1-0 home win over Motherwell took Celtic 23 points clear of administration-hit Rangers.

After a lacklustre first half, the former Scunthorpe striker latched onto a Georgios Samaras knock down in the 59th minute and fired in from close range for his 20th goal of the season. Celtic were not at their best but nevertheless deserved to record their 14th straight win - and 20th in purely domestic competitions - as they continue in their quest for the treble.

The Hoops boss, who confirmed that skipper Scott Brown, who missed the game with a groin injury, was a major doubt for Scotland's friendly against Slovenia on Wednesday, said: "It is going to take a huge collapse for us now to throw it away."

He added: "And for the rest of the teams to keep winning their games is a big ask as well. I can't emphasis enough that this has been a tremendous effort by the players. They looked a bit leggy which is understandable but they were fantastic in effort and application

"It was a great performance and a great result, another three points and another clean sheet.

"We were in the ascendancy and at 1-0 it is always a little bit tense but I don't remember my goalkeeper having to make a save. "

Brown will join up with the Scotland squad but it is clear that Lennon would not expect Craig Levein to take any risks.

The former Celtic skipper said: "I can't assume (he is out), he will have to go and I'm sure (they) will want him assessed. It is not a major injury but it is not getting any better.

"To be fair, Scotland have been very good to us and vice versa so if Craig wants to see him I don't have a problem with that.

"We don't leave Scott Brown out for rest reasons, particularly when he is playing well, we have huge games coming up and we didn't want the injury to get worse. But we have to wait see what the assessment is on Monday."

Source: PA