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Lennon hoping for Parkhead title party

Updated 07 Apr 2013 01:46:58

Lennon hoping for Parkhead title party

Celtic manager Neil Lennon says he would love to win the Scottish Premier League at Parkhead as the Hoops moved to within a point of the title.

Celtic came within touching distance of clinching the championship with a 3-0 win over Hibernian on Saturday thanks to a Kris Commons double and a Mikel Lustig strike.

But James McFadden's late equaliser for Motherwell against St Mirren stopped the title party at Parkhead.

The win, Celtic's first over Hibs this season, increases their lead at the top of the table to 15 points over Motherwell with just five games remaining as they inch ever closer to their second successive league championship.

The Celtic fans had thought they had a title to toast when Lewis Guy had put St Mirren 2-1 ahead in the 75th minute.

But McFadden's 84th equaliser for Motherwell means the champagne will be put back on ice until April 20 when the SPL resumes after the Scottish Cup semi-final matches next weekend.

The SPL now splits into two leagues of two with the fixtures for the remaining five games not announced until Monday.

While Lennon said he wasn't too disappointed with having to wait to wrap up the championship, he admitted he would like to do it in front of his own supporters at Celtic Park.

"People were coming in with the scores and we just had to sit and wait and see what happened," Lennon said of the Motherwell result.

"It doesn't matter when you win the league; it's winning it that's important.

"As a manager you are thinking that if you can win it quickly then you can do things with the squad as the season progresses.

"But it's no big disappointment not to win it today although it's always nice to win the league at home. We've not done that for a wee while but we know we only need a point now to wrap it up.

"It would be marvellous to do it at Celtic Park. We'll just wait and see what the fixtures bring on Monday but it would be nice to win it at home and it would be nice to have a full house and give the fans something to enjoy."

But for some stuttering form in recent games the Hoops could have wrapped up the title weeks ago.

Celtic are a formidable force at home where they haven't dropped a point since November and have scored 35 in their last nine league matches.

However, the Hoops have struggled away from Celtic Park where they have won only twice in their last six matches.

But after a disappointing 1-1 draw with St Mirren last weekend, Lennon said Celtic looked more like themselves against Hibs as they prepare for a Scottish Cup semi-final match against Dundee United next Sunday.

"We played some really good football and we built some great moves and just a better final finish at times would have polished off some great flowing football," Lennon said

"That's what I want to see from them. They were far more like themselves today and a clean sheet into the bargain is always important.

"Our home form has been exceptional. That's 11 wins in a row. I don't know how many goals we've scored in the last six or seven games but we're certainly playing very well at home.

"The other result was out our hands but all I was looking for today was a performance I know the team is capable of and in that regard I'm really pleased.

"We've got a big couple of weeks coming up with the semi-final and obviously the chance to win the league in our next game."

Dundee United claimed the final spot in the top six to join Celtic, Motherwell, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Ross County and St Johnstone with a late winner over Aberdeen as they leapfrogged Kilmarnock who slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Dundee.


AFP

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