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Lennon wary of McGeady in Moscow

NEIL LENNON doesn't need any reminders about which Spartak Moscow player poses the biggest threat to Celtic's Champions League hopes.

Just over two years ago after taking on the Celtic job on a permanent basis one of Lennon's first tasks was to sell Aiden McGeady.

A cheque for €11million arrived from Spartak allowing the Celtic side to be rebuilt with Gary Hooper, Joe Ledley, Beram Kayal, Anthony Stokes and Emilio Izaguirre forming the backbone of last season's SPL winning side. Celtic moved back to the top of the SPL on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Motherwell but face a massive step up in class tomorrow when they are re-united with McGeady and his new team-mates.

"We made a conscious decision when Spartak made the offer," Lennon recalled. "It was good business for the club and the player had ambitions to try something different.

"When it comes to that scenario then there is only one sensible outcome. We felt we could reinvest the money and bring in new players. It was a win-win situation.

"Nobody ever wants to sell their best player but the money we received made sense for us to do it. We had to move on and we have done. We've progressed well. That said, I would love to have Aiden McGeady in my team."

Lennon added: "We know their strengths and know all about Aiden. He's doing very well for them and will be a danger.


"It looks like he's enjoying his football. Credit to him for that. It can't be easy to go to a new environment and culture and prosper. If he comes back to bite us then that's football."

Spartak, without the suspended McGeady, won 3-1 away to Amkar Perm on Saturday and are sitting four points behind leaders Zenit St Petersburg in the Russian league table.

When the draw was made most people had Barcelona through automatically with a three-way scrap between Celtic, Benfica and Spartak for second place.

After their narrow 3-2 defeat in the Nou Camp the Russians are clear favourites for second spot.

"Spartak are a tough unit, methodical with good individual talent in forward areas," the Celtic boss explained. "Their players are proper footballers, battle hardened and experienced. Although they are physical, they will be disciplined. Going there will be as tough as the Nou Camp."