MX23RW : Sunday, September 22 19:12:26| >> :600:2644602:2644602:
Aug 22, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at ​Celtic Park
AIKAIK Fotboll
Forrest (48'), Edouard (73')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Lennon salutes Celtic's response after 'difficult few days'

Lennon salutes Celtic's response after 'difficult few days'
© Reuters
Goals from James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard earned the hosts victory over AIK.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon hailed his side for bouncing back from a difficult week with an "outstanding performance" against AIK.

Lennon's team ran out to a banner demanding the manager and Celtic hierarchy do not "sleep at the wheel" from fans still hurting from their Champions League exit.

A 4-3 defeat by Cluj last week sparked major criticism and the supporters were not soothed by a narrow extra-time win over Dunfermline in the Betfred Cup.

But Celtic took a major step towards the Europa League group stage after James Forrest's early second-half goal and Odsonne Edouard's free-kick earned a 2-0 play-off first-leg win over the Swedes.

Lennon said: "It was an outstanding performance, a great team performance. We played particularly well first half, but second half we had real control and could have scored more.

"Some of the football we played was great and we scored some fabulous goals.

"The overall performance – off the back of what has been a difficult few days – was excellent. It can't have been easy for the players and they have gone out there and played brilliantly."

Lennon was delighted with the team's first clean sheet in five games, especially after starting summer signings Boli Bolingoli and Christopher Jullien.

"It's really important because we haven't had one for three or four games," he said.

"We defended resolutely when we needed to. The centre-halves were strong, Boli played particularly well and Kris Ajer is having an outstanding time of it as well. We were big and physical when we needed to be and let the rest of them get on with it."

When asked if he was particularly pleased for Bolingoli, who set up the opener, Lennon interjected: "Given the abuse you boys have been giving him? Yeah, very pleased and hopefully that will settle him down. I thought Jullien had a strong game as well so maybe they're not that bad after all."

Lennon admitted Forrest was "doing wonders" for him again after the winger scored in his fifth consecutive game and he was gushing in his praise for Edouard.

"He's playing brilliantly, he is in brilliant goal-scoring form and leading the line superbly," he said. "I can't speak highly enough of his talent and mentality and he is becoming such an integral part of the team. And his goal was outstanding.

"I have to pay tribute to the supporters, I thought they were fantastic and it was a great atmosphere for the players to play in front of."

AIK manager Rikard Norling warned his team were not down and out.

"We played a good team, they deserved to win," he said.

"It is a big task but we wont hold anything back. We will give everything we have and we know we have great fans behind us and we'll see. The tie is still alive.

"The result could have been better but it's going to be a different game at our place."

body check tags ::

Click here for more stories about Neil Lennon

Click here for more stories about Celtic

Share this article now:
Instagram - Follow Sports Mole
Fraser Forster in action for Southampton on October 15, 2017
Read Next:
Ralph Hasenhuttl admits Fraser Forster could leave Southampton

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
/esi/758/0/index.html - esi:0:site:0:-p-: {0}: - :T758:-: {0}: < ! - - T  758 {0} - - >  : 
Premier League
Rugby World Cup
Scottish Premiership
La Liga
Serie A
Ligue 1
Primeira Liga
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swiss Super League
Danish Superliga
Norwegian Eliteserien
Swedish Allsvenskan
Segunda Division
Serie B
Major League Soccer
Argentine Primera Division
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Welsh Premier League
Chinese Super League
Premier League 2 - Div 2
2Manchester CityMan City64112461813
3Leicester CityLeicester632185311
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham632187111
7Crystal Palace631246-210
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs622212848
9Manchester UnitedMan Utd62228628
11Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd62227618
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton613258-36
16Norwich CityNorwich6204914-56
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle612348-45
18Aston Villa611469-34
19Wolverhampton WanderersWolves6033611-53

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account