Neil Lennon: Hoops players have ‘come up trumps again’


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Neil Lennon praised his Celtic side after they ended a difficult week with a reassuring 2-0 win over AIK Stockholm in the Europa League qualifiers.

Goals from James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard in the second half ensured a comfortable success for the Scottish champions, with Celtic perhaps deserving more for their dominance.

They are now 90 minutes away from securing Europa League group stage football and the win left Lennon feeling pleased. After being dumped out of the Champions League to CFR Cluj last week and labouring to an extra-time League Cup win over Dunfermline – both at Celtic Park – Lennon had suggested there was an element of ‘hysteria’ in the reaction.

His Hoops side responded as they have done typically in the last three years, with a confident victory. While Lennon was disappointed with only two goals, the threat Celtic posed bodes well for next week’s return game in Sweden, he felt. “The only complaint was we didn’t get more goals,” Lennon said.

“It was a great performance from everyone. Two great goals, a clean sheet as well. On the back of a difficult week for the players they’ve come up trumps again. “It’ll suit us [AIK having to chase the game]. It’s a decent lead, but we’re capable of scoring over there and that’s important.”

There was further good news for Lennon on the night as the club confirmed the return of goalkeeper Fraser Forster on a season-long loan deal – five years after selling him to Southampton for £10m.

Celtic meanwhile are 1.25 to make it three Scottish Premiership wins on the bounce by taking care of Hearts in Glasgow on Sunday. The Jambos are 12.00 while the draw is 6.00.

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