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Lennon: Players can handle pressure
Published : 04 May 2011 10:00:09
Celtic manager Neil Lennon has told his players to continue expressing themselves in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title run-in.
Lennon appeared frustrated over questions about whether their remaining four games, which start at Inverness on Wednesday night, will hinge on his players' ability to handle the pressure. Celtic will go top of the table if they avoid defeat and victory will keep the destiny of the title entirely in their hands as they catch up on Rangers' tally of 35 games.
Lennon said: "They have handled it so far. Everyone keeps talking about it except for us. We just want them to go and play and express themselves the way they have done for the majority of the season."
He added: "Everyone outside of football says it's about holding your nerve. It is to a certain extent but it's just about having the ability to express yourselves under pressure.
"These guys have been under pressure all season and as the finishing line gets closer, obviously the games get a bit more tense but we'll keep that tenseness away from them, that's our job.
"It's important we keep them fresh and in a good frame of mind but they are doing that with their performances."
With Rangers chasing a third successive title and Lennon having assembled a largely new and younger team since last season, some observers feel the Ibrox side's experience can help them in the finale to the SPL season.
But Lennon feels the freshness of his players could be an advantage.
"They don't know any different so maybe that can work in their favour," he said. "I've been there as an experienced player but the pressure is still the same whether you have the experience or not.
"It can help obviously but it doesn't change the fact that every season throws up different challenges and pressures and Rangers will be feeling it as much as our players."