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Lennon talks up great Danes

But Celtic boss believes his team are fully prepared

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Neil Lennon thinks Celtic could have had a much tougher draw in the Europa League.

Neil Lennon thinks Celtic could have had a much tougher draw in the Europa League.

Neil Lennon thinks Celtic could have had a much tougher draw in the Europa League.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon feels they are as prepared as they can be for their Europa League clash with FC Colepenhagen, despite their opponents' lack of competitive action.

The Danes returned from a two-month winter break with a 1-0 league defeat by Esbjerg on Friday night but had played four friendly games in the two weeks before that, including Atlantic Cup action in Portugal.

Ahead of Thursday's last-32 first-leg clash in Denmark, Lennon said: "It's great to have European football after Christmas, and it's a tough draw. It could have been tougher, but it could have been easier.

Addressed

"We've watched Copenhagen a few times. They haven't played many competitive games of late, but we've addressed the preparation as we always do."

Celtic qualified for the knockout stages with one match to spare.

Lennon said: "You feel the highs and the lows more as manager than you ever did as a player, but you also look forward to these big games, and I was so proud of the group campaign.

"That's done now, though, and we'll see where we can go in this tournament. It's exciting."

Steven Gerrard admits Rangers have to find their top form when they return to European duty against Braga, also on Thursday night.

The Light Blues host the Portuguese side in the first-leg of the last-32 at Ibrox and the Gers boss watched Braga beat Benfica 1-0 away from home on Saturday to make it eight wins and a draw in nine games in 2020.

Gerrard watched his side beat Livingston 1-0 at Ibrox on Sunday thanks to a Scott Arfield goal to keep them 10 points behind Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a game in hand over their Old Firm rivals, before turning his attention to Europe.

Competition

He said: "It's a reward for how well we have done in that competition. The players have been outstanding from the first qualifier. To be in the last-32 the players deserve a lot of credit and praise.

"But one thing is for sure, we are going to have to click into gear. We are going to have to be at our best or close to our best to get the result we want on Thursday.

"I watched Braga against Benfica last night and they are a decent team.

"They are in a rich vein of form. They will come here in confident mood but if we can somehow find out best European performance, I'm confident we can give them a right good game."


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