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Lennon focused and back in the league routine

 

Table-toppers: Neil Lennon and Scott Brown after their victory over Rennes
Table-toppers: Neil Lennon and Scott Brown after their victory over Rennes

By Ronnie Esplin

Neil Lennon wants Celtic to park their burgeoning Europa League aspirations and quickly focus on the home front at Ross County tomorrow.

The Hoops boss was delighted that the emphatic 3-1 win over French side Rennes on Thursday night confirmed the Scottish champions as group winners for the first time with one fixture remaining.

Breaking the 10-point barrier for the first time by moving on to 13, ahead of the final Group E match against Cluj in Romania next month, was also pleasing for the Northern Irishman.

However, there is no respite for Lennon's side as they face the long trip to Dingwall, where they will resume their quest to win nine titles in a row in the Ladbrokes Premiership, in which they lead Old Firm rivals Rangers on goal difference.

"We are in good form," said the Parkhead boss, who will assess striker Odsonne Edouard after he missed the Rennes game with a niggle.

"It is difficult. It is away from home, a quick turnaround and obviously a long travel on Saturday, so we will get the players recovered as quickly as we can.

"We'll get them in on Saturday, get some second day recovery and then we'll travel.

"It's a difficult game. We know our priority is the league so we can finish with the European in terms of competitiveness and maybe we can fully concentrate on domestic duties.

"Ross County had a really good start to the season. They have just come off a little bit but they are at home.

"Teams raise their game when we are in town so we know how fraught the game could be. But we're in a good place, not taking anything for granted, and we have to stay really focused now because the games are coming thick and fast."

The Hoops had already qualified for the last-32 of the competition before Rennes arrived in Glasgow but Lennon had stressed the importance of winning the group to ensure the possibility of a more favourable draw.

Goals from makeshift centre forward Lewis Morgan, in for Edouard, Ryan Christie and second-half substitute Mikey Johnston had the home side in easy street before Rennes substitute Adrien Hunou headed in a late consolation for the visitors.

Scotland international Greg Taylor, who made his European debut for Celtic in the absence of injured Boli Bolingoli and Jonny Hayes, is relishing a busy December where the Hoops will play nine games.

The former Kilmarnock left-back said: "There are so many competitions and we are hoping to do well with them all.

"It is not going to be easy up there. We know Ross County will make it difficult for us. But the the boys will be ready to go come Sunday."

Ross County vs Celtic

Scottish Premiership

Victoria Park, Tomorrow, 12pm

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