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Lennon ready to change Celtic's winning formula

Celtic 9 Aberdeen 0: Neil Lennon is ready to make changes to the Celtic side which created a Scottish Premier League record with their 9-0 thrashing of Aberdeen at Parkhead.

The Hoops, inspired by hat-trick heroes Gary Hooper and Anthony Stokes, ran riot against the sorry-looking Dons who left the east end of Glasgow thankful that they had not been subject to a double-figure defeat.

Rangers' 3-1 win at St Mirren yesterday took the Light Blues back top of the SPL by a point but Celtic boss Lennon was more concerned about his side's match against Hearts at Tynecastle on Wednesday night — and he hinted that he will re-jig his starting line-up.

“We have a big week coming up, Hearts away and St Mirren away, Lennon said.

“So there will be no room complacency. It is a totally different scenario on Wednesday.

“We will enjoy Saturday but we will start concentrating on Hearts.

“There will possibly be a few changes to the team, believe it or not, but we will talk about that over the next couple of days.” It could be a while before Parkhead sees another game like the one witnessed on Saturday.

Dons captain Paul Hartley and Celtic defender Thomas Rogne were sent off by referee Alan Muir as Celtic stormed into

a 4-0 interval lead with doubles from Hooper and Stokes, the Irishman netting two penalties.

The points were secured but Celtic were hungry for more goals and there was no surprise when Hooper and Stokes each grabbed a third.

A strike from Joe Ledley, an own goal by Aberdeen substitute Josh Magennis and a late penalty from Paddy McCourt left the Dons licking their wounds from a club record defeat.

Lennon praised his players' potency and professionalism, saying: “You can see what Hooper and Stokes bring to the team at times. They are good players and we feel they both have goalscoring instincts.

“Stokes took his penalties well and Gary's three goals were very, very good. His instinct is his strength.

“Shaun Maloney was terrific, as was Ledley, and to keep a clean sheet again was very pleasing because it could have been different. We had one cleared off the line early on.

“It was a challenge for them to come in at 4-0 up at half-time, I'm sure many of them wouldn't have been in that position before.

“It would have been easy to take their foot off the pedal but they didn't and to their credit they got another five in the second half which is absolutely fantastic.

“We are a long way off from where we want to be yet but that showed there has been improvement.”

Former Hibernian striker Stokes will be hoping his good form will help improve his record at the home of his old foes Hearts. The former Sunderland striker said: “We looked like we were gelling together and hopefully it's a sign of things to come.

“My record there wasn't great to be honest. I think I lost most of my games there.

“It's going to be a very tough game. They are a very good team with organised players so we have to forget about this result and concentrate on Wednesday.”

Belfast Telegraph


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