Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 October 2014

Kenny backs Lenny to ride comeback wave as Celtic stumble at Kilmarnock

Neil Lennon

Kilmarnock 3 Celtic 3: Neil Lennon was backed by Northern Ireland compatriot and rival Kenny Shiels in his insistence that Celtic’s second half fightback could now mirror their season.

Kilmarnock boss Shiels saw his side pegged back from a 3-0 half-time lead, one of those goals coming from his Northern Ireland striker son Dean, staking a claim to come in from the international cold following Nigel Worthington’s departure.

Celtic boss Lennon's interval pep-talk inspired an equally dramatic comeback with three goals in six minutes, Anthony Stokes scoring twice before stand-in skipper Charlie Mulgrew headed an equaliser.

Celtic remain 10 points behind Rangers and three behind second-placed Motherwell, although the Hoops have a game in hand, but Lennon believes his men will take heart from the spirit shown in the second half in Ayrshire.

“I want the players to use that to their advantage,” said Lennon.

“Winning football games is hard and winning championships is a very difficult thing to do.

“You have to go through hard times in games, rough patches where you have to dig deep and find a little bit more.”

Shiels spoke about Celtic's comeback as a possible “turning point” in their season but insists his side did not raise their game for the Hoops' visit.

He said: “We didn't play any better than we have been playing, but the fact it was against Celtic lends itself to people saying 'that team can play a bit' But we have been doing that all season.”

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