Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

No European hangover for Celtic

Injured: Adam Matthews may be out of action for three months

Celtic 2 Motherwel 0: Neil Lennon revealed how he and his Celtic players have come to terms with returning to domestic duties following Champions League games by adopting a minimalist approach to training.

The Hoops have often struggled in the wake of big European nights, evidenced last season when they took one point out of six in the two league games following their clashes with Barcelona.

However, this season Lennon's side have taken 16 points from six post-Champions League games.

Saturday's 2-0 home win over Motherwell, thanks to goals from Anthony Stokes and Kris Commons, came on the back of last Tuesday's 1-0 defeat in the Champions League to Barca at Parkhead and took them top of the Scottish Premiership.

The Celtic boss, who expects Adam Matthews to be out for around three months with a collarbone injury sustained in a hefty first half challenge by Well skipper Keith Lasley, said: "We have curtailed the training down to a minimum between the games.

"We basically do nothing with them. The only bit of football we had was an eight-a-side game on Friday.

"But they all looked in good condition and in good nick.

"It was an exceptionally good performance against a very good Motherwell team.

"What pleased me more was the energy the team showed considering the demanding night they had on Tuesday."

Celtic playmaker Kris Commons explained the difficulties the Hoops players have coping with the Champions League on top of such a heavy domestic fixture schedule.

He said: "You have to maintain your body to play at such a high level, not only on the Tuesday but also on a Saturday.

"It was two individual goals but the main thing was to the three points in the bag."

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