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Lennon vindicated by Hoops victory
Published : 29 Dec 2011 07:46:56
Neil Lennon revelled in festive cheer after Joe Ledley's second-half goal gave Celtic victory over Rangers at Parkhead and took them two points clear of their Old Firm rivals at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
Ledley headed home Charlie Mulgrew's 52nd-minute corner to secure Celtic's ninth SPL win in a row. The triumph confirmed their turnaround in fortunes since November 5, when they were 15 points behind the champions, albeit with two games in hand.
Hoops boss Lennon said: "It has been the best Christmas and New Year that I have had. Obviously it was difficult to enjoy because we knew the game was looming, I'm glad it's over. I'm delighted we have won and it was another good performance and really consistent form we have shown."
He added: "I can't ask any more of the players at the moment, they have been brilliant. I think the timing of the goal was important and I thought we were in the ascendancy without being brilliant. I always knew that we could claw it back, I didn't realise that they would claw it back so quickly but they always had it in them to go on a run like this."
Midfielder Beram Kayal was carried off on a stretcher in the second half after a challenge with Lee McCulloch but Lennon said: "Kayal is okay, he rapped his ankle and I think he should be fit for Monday (against Dunfermline)."
Ally McCoist revealed defender Steven Whittaker might need an operation on a groin injury which kept him out of the game.
The Rangers boss said: "He might need surgery, he is going to see a specialist. It might be a hernia, he pulled up in training (on Tuesday)."
Turning to the game McCoist called for the introduction of goalline technology after Lee Wallace's first-half header looked like it might have crossed the line before Hoops keeper Fraser Forster clawed it back.
He said: "Yes, I have said that all along that we should have it. I have seen it and it has definitely crossed the line. Sometimes you get it and sometimes you don't. But I will keep that for another day. We have to take that on the chin and get on with it.
"I think Lee and Nikica Jelavic were both fairly convinced that the ball had crossed the line but there is no use mumping and moaning about it."