Celtic: Neil Lennon targets Champions League win in Belfast

 

Champions League 2nd qualifying round 1st leg: Cliftonville v Celtic

  • Venue: Solitude
  • Date: Wednesday, 17 July
  • Kick-off: 19:45 BST

Coverage: Live on BBC2 in Northern Ireland & Scotland; live video on BBC Sport website; commentary on Radio Ulster & Radio Scotland

Neil Lennon insists Celtic will not take Cliftonville lightly in their Champions League qualifier.

Speaking ahead of the second qualifying round first leg in Belfast, Lennon said Wednesday's opponents would not be underestimated.

"We have to be as professional as we can, quell the home crowd and try to impose our game on them," he said.

"This is our first competitive game (of the season.) It's a big ask but that's where we are."

Lennon added: "Cliftonville are a good side and we've had them watched.

It's a dangerous game and it is one we're not taking lightly

Celtic manager Neil Lennon

"Their team will be well prepared and they'll be highly motivated for this game but the Champions League is so important for us as well.

"It's a dangerous game and it is one we're not taking lightly. We will have to be at our best.

"I know it's early and I know some of the players won't be at their best but we'll have to play very well to get a result tomorrow."

Celtic forward Georgios Samaras said the players were determined to progress to the group stage of the Champions League, with one more qualifying hurdle to overcome this season.

"This is our target and what we want to achieve this season," he said. "We need to get ready physically and mentally, and focus on these really important games.

"We need to forget what happened last season and concentrate on the future."