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I’m willing to park the bus, says Celtic boss Neil Lennon

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has said he would have no qualms about copying the defensive tactics of Old Firm counterpart Walter Smith.

The Rangers boss was heavily criticised in many quarters for the 5-4-1 formation he employed in holding Manchester United to a goalless draw in their Champions League Group C opener at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

After suffering embarrassment in last season's Champions League campaign where they finished bottom of their group with two points, Smith is determined to avoid a repeat this season and will look for his players to grind out results the way they did when reaching the final of the UEFA Cup in 2008.

Asked if he would have any problems about “parking the bus” in similar style, the Celtic boss replied: “No. If it meant getting a result I might have to do that every now and again.

“I know it's not everyone's cup of tea and I'm sure Walter wouldn't want to play that way the majority of the time but he felt it was the way to go and he's been justified in that.

“It was a great point and it would be interesting to see how many teams go to Old Trafford this season and come away with a 0-0 draw

“I don't know if Walter is going to adopt that approach every game.

“It might just be for specific games where he feels they are going to be under pressure a lot and I think that you can be going to Old Trafford.

“He gets this sort of reputation as being a negative manager but if you look at the players he has brought in this season, Weiss, Jelavic and Beattie, they are attacking players who will create more than destroy.”

Speaking ahead of a visit to Kilmarnock tomorrow lunchtime, the former Northern Ireland international added: “Listen, first things first, it's results.

“If you can win with a bit of style then even better.

“But there will be days when I might have to grind out results, even at home.

“If we play poorly and win I will be happy with that.”

Belfast Telegraph


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