Celtic Manager Neil Lennon Delighted With Side's Performance After Draw At Rangers

Posted by admin on Sunday, 6 February 2011

Hoops boss delighted with 10-man team's spirit.
Celtic boss Neil Lennon believes his side can be proud of their performance after coming from a goal down and a man down to claim a Scottish Cup replay against Rangers in a frantic Old Firm fixture at Ibrox.

Scott Brown’s second half equaliser means that both sides will have played each other an incredible seven times by the time the season is finished.

Lennon spoke to BBC Radio Scotland afterwards, and believed the sending off of goalkeeper Fraser Forster, who brought down Steven Naismith to give the home side a penalty, was justified.

“It was a fair decision we couldn’t complain," he said. "It came from us being slack and playing square balls when we shouldn’t have been in a period of the game were we were in control. We had to regroup at half time, made a couple of changes because I felt that we needed to be more positive in the final third.”

On his side’s overall performance, Lennon said: “I thought we were the better team, after the ropey start, a wonder goal from Ness, but these things happen in football. I thought that we weren’t great, but once we got a grip on the game I felt that the midfield four and five, were top draw today.”

He continued: “The full backs were great and once Majstorovic found his feet in the second half, were there was real belief about them and we kept taking the game to Rangers. We were always liable to get caught on the counter attack because we were a man down and that’s the way that Rangers like to play, but you gamble sometimes, and with the belief and the quality we showed today was top drawer.”

The former Celtic skipper was pleased with his side's resolve and efforts even during the period of the game where they were a man down.

“We troubled them and we kept playing out football, trying to break Rangers down which is not an easy thing to do. Brown’s scored a wonder goal; sometimes you need that class to change the game.

"From then on I felt there was only going to be one winner, McGregor’s made an unbelievable save towards the end, but Jelavic could have maybe put Davis in at the end, so on the balance of chances probably a draw was the right result, but on the balance of football and play I felt we deserved to win, I thought we were fantastic.”