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Lennon warns Shakhter Karagandy boasts could haunt you
Published : 27 Aug 2013 19:02:54Rss feed
Neil Lennon has warned Shakhter Karagandy boss Viktor Kumykov that his confidence ahead of their Champions League play-off second-leg tie against Celtic at Parkhead on Wednesday night could "come back and bite" him.
The Hoops are 2-0 down from the first game against the Kazakhstan champions and Shakhter's Russian coach was quoted as saying they would also "score a pair of goals" in Glasgow, although he backtracked somewhat later by saying his words had been "misinterpreted."
However, at Celtic's training complex in Lennoxtown, Hoops manager Lennon made his feelings on the matter crystal clear, claiming that his Shakhter counterpart had been "disrespectful."
"I think it (their confidence) is very dangerous and it can always come back to bite you," he said.
"This is a two-game tie and it is disrespectful to my team as well. I don't need to motivate my players for tomorrow night but if they want to keep talking the way they are doing then that's fine.
"We know we have to win the game by three goals. If they score we need to score four, if they score two - according to their manager - then we need to score five.
"Looking at the first game in the cold light of day, there is no doubt that we were the better team and created the better chances.
"We have 90 minutes to score two goals. Regardless, we could score the first goal in the 75th minute or 80th minute and that would still give us 10 or 15 minutes to get another one.
"There is no rush on our part to come out all guns blazing and try to force the early goal. So we will let the game take its natural course, as long we have control of the game that is the most important thing."
The former Celtic skipper insisted he was encouraged rather than frustrated by his side's performance in Astana, where they failed to convert a series of chances while giving away two cheap goals, to leave hopes of reaching the lucrative group stages of the tournament for the second successive season in the balance.
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