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Clinical Commons is goal hero for Celtic

By Ronnie Esplin

Inverness CT 0 Celtic 1: Neil Lennon hailed Kris Commons' "wonderful" form after his early strike proved enough to give Celtic a single goal win over Inverness in their Scottish Premiership encounter at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium.

The in-form midfielder worked a one-two with Georgios Samaras and drove past Caley keeper Dean Brill after two minutes for his 15th goal of the season which stretched the Hoops' unbeaten run in the league to 18 games.

Afterwards the Parkhead boss, while acknowledging it was not the greatest of games, said: "He is wonderful and he is in wonderful form.

"I thought the goal was brilliant and when you see Kris in those positions you get disappointed when he doesn't score, he's that good at it.

"That is 15 for the season for us now, so he has been absolutely huge for me in the past couple of years and I think he will only get better.

"With the pitch being heavy as it is, it is very difficult to play quick football, the ball bobbled quite a bit.

"It is the winter, the conditions are going to prove to be difficult.

"It is not conducive to flowing football and at times you have to be a bit more physical and grind out results and that is what we have done in the last two games."

Lennon was tickled by one newspaper report which yesterday claimed Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic had hinted he would like to finish his career at Parkhead.

"I need to look up Z in my mobile phone," smiled the Lurgan man. "He might not get in the team at the minute because we are going well.

"It is a strange one but it shows the reputation that we have and I think with what the supporters have brought to the Champions League, Celtic becomes more of an attractive proposition for players now which is fantastic."

The former Celtic skipper was more circumspect when talking about his name being linked with the vacant post at West Brom.

Asked if there had been any contact from the Midlands club, Lennon replied: "Not at all. I have had no inclination from any club.

"There are jobs going down south, I am lucky I am pretty secure and I have got good backing from the board and I still have a lot of things to do here.

"Until I get a phone call or Peter (Lawwell, chief executive) tells me there has been interest, I just don't give it any thought whatsoever."

Inverness boss John Hughes conceded that his side left themselves with an even more difficult task than envisaged by losing such an early goal.

However, the former Hoops defender was happy enough with the way his players responded thereafter.

He said: "The first thing you say when playing Celtic is keep it tight for 20 minutes so to lose that goal was disappointing.

"The way we went about our business – we passed it about very well and the ball retention – was very good.

"You are not going to create chance after chance against Celtic, you are playing against a right good football team.

"But when a few chances come along you hope that you take them.

"We had one or two, and we gave as good as we got so we are disappointed but that is the way football goes."

Belfast Telegraph


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