Champions League: Celtic accuse rivals Shakhter of disrespect

 

Champions League play-off round 2nd leg

  • Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow
  • Date: Wednesday, 28 August
  • Kick-off: 19:45 BST

Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810 MW and on DAB digital radio; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Neil Lennon says claims by the Shakhter Karagandy coach that they could score two goals at Celtic Park are disrespectful to the Glasgow team.

The Celtic boss says the comments by Viktor Kumykov could work in the Scots' favour despite the Kazakh champions leading 2-0 from their home leg.

"I think it is very dangerous and it can always come back to bite you," said Lennon of the perceived confidence.

I don't need to motivate my players for tomorrow night. But if they want to keep talking the way they are doing then that's fine

Neil Lennon Celtic manager

"This is a two-game tie and it is disrespectful to my team as well."

Comments attributed to Kumykov and published in morning newspapers were in stark contrast to his remarks on his squad's arrival at Glasgow Airport.

He had told BBC Scotland through an interpreter that he believed Celtic remained favourites for the tie.

Lennon says reaching the group stage of the Champions League is motivation enough for his players but thinks the comments attributed to Kumykov can only help his side.

"We know we have to win the game by three goals," he said.

"If they score, we need to score four, if they score two - according to their manager - then we need to score five.

"I don't need to motivate my players for tomorrow night.

Interview - Celtic manager Neil Lennon

"But if they want to keep talking the way they are doing then that's fine.

"Looking at the first game in the cold light of day, there is no doubt that we were the better team and created the better chances.

"We have 90 minutes to score two goals. Regardless, we could score the first goal in the 75th minute or 80th minute and that would still give us 10 or 15 minutes to get another one.

"There is no rush on our part to come out all guns blazing and try to force the early goal.

"So we will let the game take its natural course, as long we have control of the game that is the most important thing."