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No Pressure From Above: Lennon
Published : 25 Aug 2011 09:18:00
Progress in Europe provides its own pressure. Celtic's financial results for last year were noticeable for the less than anticipated money from playing in Europe. A club of the size and ambition of Celtic have to make a reasonable showing in Europe to support the expenditure incurred. Tonight sees them get a chance to make it to the group stages of the Europa League as they are in Switzerland to play their second play off leg against Sion. The first leg in Glasgow ended in a 0-0 draw so there is everything to play for. The expectation of the fans added to his own ambition will be weighing heavily on manager Neil Lennon's shoulders. While they will be looking at the football side of things, the board will be looking at the financial gains to be made that qualification to the group stage will deliver. In the usual pre-game press conference, Lennon was asked if there was any pressure to go through. He said: "Certainly not from up above, no, not at all. The pressure is no different from any other game for Celtic, every game is a huge game, there is always something riding on it. It is a very important game for me personally. I would dearly love to take the club into the group stages. It is going to be very difficult. Sion are a good team, which they proved last week. And in the context of the season it is a big game because it would open doors revenue-wise and it would keep our interest in Europe going at least until December. For the players as well, it is important to get into the group stages where they can develop their game a bit more."