Neil Lennon blows up ‘infuriating’ Neymar as Celtic boss praises his players’ discipline


Neil Lennon praised his Celts for keeping their cool in the face of liquidation merchant Neymar.The Hoops ended their trip to France with a loss at Parc des Princes and the Brazilian forward was at his best and infuriating. Lenny insisted his side held on for long spells and was equally thrilled with the way they refused to fall for Neymar’s dirty tricks.

The Parkhead boss, who revealed Scott Brown wasn’t at risk due to a minor injury, said: “He was just trying to convince people. I told the players that you just have to keep your discipline and not really take the bait.

“He’s infuriating but he knows it.

“I’m a big fan of Kylian Mbappe because I think he’s fantastic in terms of goal and pace. They have quality all over the place. “

Celtic scored a goal in 55 seconds, but enjoyed the spells on the ball and the score was tough.

Lennon insisted it was perfect training for his troops as they prepare for the Champions League qualifiers and the Premiership kick-off.

He said, “After a minute you think ‘oh my God’!

“Once we found our level we were decent and I thought we deserved a goal at this point.

“This quality is world class. I am glad we accepted. I don’t think we should be depressed.

“Sometimes players need to see the game at this level for what it is, and how far it takes to get there. I hope they can get a lot out of it physically and mentally.

“I was delighted with Jeremie Frimpong, I thought he was exceptional. I was delighted with Ryan Christie. Some of our players have really come and can be very satisfied.

“They took the opportunity.”

Lennon hopes to line up Dundalk or Derry City at Celtic Park this weekend if the Irish government agrees to an airlift with Scotland.

The Champions will also face Motherwell on Sunday and Lennon wants his men to get used to the comforts of home again.

He said, “They’re not there yet in terms of being in peak shape. Most of them haven’t played 90 minutes before the PSG game.

“Normally you would have five or six games at this point, but we had three. We will give play time on Saturday and others on Sunday.

“It’s difficult but the club did everything they could under the circumstances.

“It will be important to play at Celtic Park because we’ve been out for so long. We haven’t played it since March. You want them to feel like they’re playing out there behind closed doors.

Skipper Brown could be back as his injury absence last night was not a big deal.

Lennon said: “Scott might have a little nerve stuck, he’s following his back and his hamstrings. There was no point in taking a risk.

Blunderer Hoops will also assess Leigh Griffiths when he returns to Glasgow, but he insisted he wasn’t thinking of loaning out the hitman to get himself up to speed.

Lennon said, “I’m not even considering this by the minute. He is coming but we will assess him when we return.


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