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Lennon wants more direct approach

Celtic 0 Livingston 0

Missed chance: Neil Lennon’s Celtic could have secured title
Missed chance: Neil Lennon’s Celtic could have secured title

By Gavin McCafferty

Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes his team should be more direct at times after they were held to a goalless home draw by Livingston.

The Ladbrokes Premiership leaders will have to wait at least two weeks to clinch their eighth consecutive title after being denied by a string of first-half saves from Liam Kelly.

The tempo and number of chances dropped after the interval, but substitute Oliver Burke missed a glorious stoppage-time opportunity after Kelly failed to hold Odsonne Edouard's strike.

Lennon, whose side are 11 points clear of Rangers with five games left, said: "It's frustrating because we created great chances, even in the 93rd minute we had a great chance to win it.

"The performance was decent, the first half very good, the second half a little bit huffy and puffy. We put a bit of width in the team and again we created some really good chances.

"I just think we overplay it, at times we can get the ball forward a little bit quicker.

"We could be a little bit more direct and get the ball in earlier and our set-play delivery needs to be better as well because we had plenty of corners and free-kicks in good areas and didn't hit the area we wanted to attack.

"They are good defensively and I knew that before the game. I knew they would be a big, strong physical team and throw their bodies on the line and come and head the ball, and the goalkeeper excelled. And you get that some days.

"Is it poor finishing from our point of view or excellent goalkeeping? Probably a little bit of both."

Livingston earned their first ever point at Celtic Park to follow up their achievement of securing their Premiership status.

Manager Gary Holt said: "You come to these places and you're going to need most of your players playing at their top level and your goalkeeper having an outstanding game. Thankfully that happened.

"It's another feather in the cap. We have taken points off every team in the league."

Meanwhile, Lennon retains hope that defender Dedryck Boyata will sign a new contract, despite reports the Belgian has a deal with Hertha Berlin.

"I'm not aware of that, Dedryck was at the game," Lennon said. "I wouldn't be surprised if there is interest in him, but we are still hopeful that we can persuade him to stay."

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