MX23RW : Saturday, June 19 18:53:02| >> :600:96478:96478:
Aug 29, 2019 at 6pm UK at Friends Arena, Solna, Stockholm
Attendance: 28,410
AIKAIK Fotboll
Larsson (33' pen.)
FT(HT: 1-2)
Forrest (17'), Johnston (34'), Jullien (87'), Morgan (93')

Neil Lennon rejects idea of defending lead in Europa League second leg

Neil Lennon rejects idea of defending lead in Europa League second leg
© Reuters
The Hoops face AIK in Stockholm, with a place in the Europa League group stage at stake.

Neil Lennon insists Celtic will go on the front foot and look to seal their Europa League place by killing off AIK Stockholm on Thursday night.

The Hoops take a 2-0 lead to Sweden as they look to clinch a pass to the group stages.

And Lennon has dismissed any notion of his side sitting in to protect the advantage they built up in Glasgow last week thanks to strikes from James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard.

The Northern Irishman believes that will only invite trouble to the Scottish champions' door.

Instead, he will order his men to stick to the attacking game plan that has taken them to the brink of qualification.

"We're a front-foot team," the Hoops boss told the club's official website. "We're not going to ask players to do something alien in the space of two or three days.

"Setting up defensively might be a recipe for disaster.

"AIK are dangerous. They won at the weekend, they have good strikers and in Seb Larsson they have a very experienced, quality player who's a threat at set-plays.

"Set-pieces are something we have to be very wary of.

"They have a good mentality and will believe the tie's not over so we have to respect that as well."

Celtic conceded four times at home as they were dumped out of the Champions League by Romanian club Cluj.

But they barely broke a sweat as they took care of AIK at Parkhead last week.

Lennon would not be surprised if his side have more to deal with at the Friends Arena – but that will not mean he alters his game plan.

"If the time runs down they might come out and have a real go at us or they might do that to start with," he said.

"They may be patient, let us have the ball and counter-attack us.

"I can't predict it but what I can predict is we'll play how we want to play and impose our game on them."

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Celtic manager Neil Lennon pictured on August 13, 2019
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