Celtic vs FC Kobenhavn - Lennon insists Celtic will not be affected by complacency

Posted Thursday, February 27, 2020 by PA

Celtic vs FC Kobenhavn - Lennon insists Celtic will not be affected by complacency

Celtic fans have to guard against any thoughts of complacency against FC Copenhagen at Parkhead, according to boss Neil Lennon.

The Hoops drew 1-1 in the first-leg of the last-32 Europa League tie at the Parken Stadium last week to give them the advantage for the return game in Glasgow on Thursday night.

However, the tie could have swung more firmly towards the Scottish champions if they had capitalised on their impressive first-half performance and the several opportunities created.

Lennon, who will be boosted by the return of skipper Scott Brown and Scotland winger James Forrest from injury, was keen to stress that entry into the last-16 is still up for grabs.

He said: “Copenhagen is a dangerous team and there are no formalities at this stage of the competition for anyone, unless other teams have a big lead from the first leg.

“It is 1-1, the tie could psychologically switch all the way.

“Hopefully we can get the first goal and get on the front foot but we are going to have to earn the right to play.

“The players are quietly confident. They are at home, our home record is good but there will be no complacency or taking anything for granted.

“Copenhagen gave us a really tough second half out there, we had to work really hard to avoid going behind.

“We are at home so that gives us a bit of an advantage. The tie is still there for both teams.”

Celtic have not won a post-group stage knockout tie in Europe since they beat Barcelona in the last-16 of the UEFA Cup in 2004.

“I wasn’t aware of that so maybe that will act as extra motivation for the players,” said the former Celtic captain, who revealed his squad have been practising penalties.

“We are not thinking about records or timelines or anything like this, we are thinking about the opposition who are good and how we overcome them over 90 minutes or it might go to extra-time, you never know.

“The mentality has been fantastic so far. I want it to continue.

“I want us to be in the last-16, we are good enough to do that but we are going to have to play well.”

Copenhagen boss Stale Solbakken believes Celtic could find themselves facing a dilemma at Parkhead and insisted a tight match could be problematic for the hosts.

The 51-year-old Norwegian said: “It looks over but it’s not over. We don’t see it as a bonus, we see it as a possibility.

“The odds have crept a little bit more to Celtic’s side after their away goal.

“That’s natural but we know we have more or less scored at away grounds this season.

“Not many but we have scored. It’s also a bit of dilemma to Celtic – what do they do if it’s still quite even?

“And even if they score first then we score the next so there’s also a little bit of psychology in it.

“We are satisfied with what we have done in Europe this season, coming through the qualification group stages.

“We don’t have any priority, we just have to win every game.”

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