Euro ties fill Rangers void for Celtic - Neil Lennon

Media playback is not supported on this device

Interview - Celtic manager Neil Lennon

Manager Neil Lennon believes the Champions League has filled the void at Celtic left by the absence of matches with great rivals Rangers.

When asked about the impact of Rangers' absence from the Scottish Premier League, Lennon said: "I haven't detected much of a difference.

"In terms of finances we will miss the four Old Firm games.

"But it is not a huge loss from a footballing sense because obviously the European games will make up for that."

This weekend would have been the first Old Firm derby of the season had Rangers not been relaunched in the Third Division following their financial collapse.

Instead, Dundee, who took Rangers' place after finishing runners-up to Ross County in the First Division last season, will visit Celtic Park.

Lennon's men opened their Champions League campaign with a 0-0 draw at home to Benfica this week and will also face Spartak Moscow and Barcelona in Group G.

Domestic form has been erratic, with SPL champions Celtic picking up eight points from their opening five matches.

On Rangers' absence, Lennon added: "Eventually you move on. There has been a hole there but it is up to other clubs to fill that void.

"The games have been very competitive, the crowds have been good, and some of the football has been good."

Celtic lost to St Johnstone last weekend, having drawn with Hibernian in their last home outing and Lennon is demanding an improvement.

"I want to get consistent performances in the league and I want it to start tomorrow," the Celtic boss said.

"We have dropped seven points out of 15 which is unacceptable, although there have been mitigating circumstances.

"Perth is the only game I was disappointed with, we spoke about it briefly this morning and I think the players will be very motivated.

"We have taken one point from the last six and that should be motivation enough for the players to say 'let's get going here'."

"What I'm looking for now is consistency, trying to patch a run of wins together between now and the Moscow game."