Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football Scottish Celtic

Lennon wants fans to pump up Euro volume

Hibernian 1 Celtic 1

Dropped points: Neil Lennon
Dropped points: Neil Lennon

By Ronnie Esplin

Neil Lennon has asked Celtic fans to turn up the volume in Thursday night's Europa League clash with Cluj at Parkhead.

The Hoops go into matchday two in Group E on the back of a 1-1 Ladbrokes Premiership draw against Hibernian at Easter Road on Saturday, which by the end of the day saw their lead over Rangers at the top reduced to one point.

The title battle will resume next weekend but focus will now shift to the visit of the Romanian outfit to Glasgow.

Lennon said: "Big game, big European night and looking forward to it. I hope the supporters are as well and I hope they get right behind the team because they are going to be important.

"We need to get those European nights up to full decibel levels again so there is a connection and there has been between the players and supporters this season. I am really looking forward to the fans making Celtic Park a loud and intimidating place."

After six straight league wins, two dropped points in Leith proved costly for the champions as their Old Firm rivals demolished Aberdeen 5-0 at Ibrox.

Lennon was adamant referee Kevin Clancy should have awarded the visitors two penaltiess.

He said: "I am not disappointed with the performance, just the result. I am not going to criticise the players for that performance. We are still unbeaten."

Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom was also critical of Clancy, who sent him to the stand in the first-half for an angry outburst after Ryan Christie's header cancelled out an earlier own goal by defender Kristoffer Ajer.

Heckingbottom kicked a water bottle in frustration which struck assistant referee Alan Mulvanny.

He admitted he should not have done that but then swore at fourth official Nick Walsh which led to him being sent to the stand by Clancy.

"There is a swear word in there and I said it was his fault that he gave it," said Heckingbottom. "The ball was pulled back for something the fourth official seen. That is not transmitted to the players. Some players think it is a drop ball and they are getting the ball back, others understand it was a free-kick. It was a shambles."

Heckingbottom claimed the biggest injustice of all was Ntcham being only yellow carded in the 38th minute for raising his hands to Josh Vela. Asked if he should have been sent off, the Hibs boss said: "Come on. Three times for three punches. That's the biggest injustice. Everyone has been let down."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph