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Sunday 4 December 2016

Lennon wary of Celtic's Groundhog Day

Ronnie Esplin

Published 01/02/2011 | 05:00

NEIL LENNON admits his team talk before yet another Celtic versus Aberdeen clash tonight will seem like Groundhog Day,.

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Celtic beat the Dons 4-1 in their League Cup semi-final clash at Hampden Park last Saturday, with Anthony Stokes on the scoresheet with his 15th goal in all competitions this season.

This triumph came only a week after a 1-0 win over Craig Brown's side in the Scottish Premier League at Parkhead.

The Hoops boss has already inspired his players to a 9-0 home win over the men from the Granite City in November and he accepts he might struggle to think of something new to say when he gathers his players around him before they bid to increase their lead over Rangers at the top of the table to eight points, albeit having played three games more than their Old Firm rivals.

"It is very fresh from Saturday," Lennon said. "It's sort of difficult to do team talks at times because it sounds like Groundhog Day, but it's just the way the fixtures have thrown these games up. But we have to concentrate. It's a massive game for us in terms of the league.

"It's a game that we dearly want to win and I'm sure Aberdeen will be the same. It's a different venue and I'm sure Aberdeen will be fired up for it after what happened to them on Saturday.

"But we go into the game with confidence and belief in ourselves, which is good as long as it's not misplaced.

"We were excellent last Wednesday (against Hearts) and we carried that on at the weekend. It was scintillating stuff and I was delighted."

Saturday's comprehensive semi-final win set up an Old Firm final on March 20.

Celtic also face Rangers at Ibrox next Sunday in their Scottish Cup fifth-round tie ahead of an SPL meeting between the Glasgow giants later in the month.

However, Lennon admits he cannot get enough of Old Firm games.

"It's one of the greatest fixtures in the world, never mind Britain and with both teams going so well it adds the ingredients to the pot," the former Celtic skipper said.

"We have a cup final to look forward to and a big game on Sunday, obviously, but we are not thinking about that just yet -- we have a really tough game tomorrow to contend with."

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