| 23.9°C Dublin

Lennon's answer to detractors

NEIL LENNON claimed that Celtic reaching the Champions League group stages for the second successive season after overcoming a 2-0 first-leg deficit to beat Shakhter Karagandy was his "greatest" moment in football but then revealed he is seething at what he perceives to be negativity towards him and his club.

The Hoops trailed 2-0 from the first leg of the play-off in Astana but goals from Kris Commons, Georgios Samaras and James Forrest booked a place in today's draw.

Lennon (above), who revealed he had agreed a fee with Schalke 04 for striker Teemu Pukki, but not personal terms, and who hopes to get the signing of Israeli midfielder Nir Biton over the line, said: "It is the greatest thing I have ever done in football.

"We lost three very important players (Gary Hooper, Victor Wanyama and Kelvin Wilson) and it has been difficult to replace them.

"Coming from a two-goal deficit as well it makes the players' performances all the more remarkable.

"The players were wonderful."

The former Celtic skipper then turned his sights on the club's detractors, saying: "I am relieved.

"I am angry as well. I am angry at the reaction from the first leg towards the team.

"I wouldn't say we had a bad week last week, we didn't take our chances, we created plenty but the hysteria afterwards was disgusting.

"There is no respect for managers these days, we are analysed and scrutinised.

"I call the game as I see it but you still get slaughtered. It is totally wrong and it doesn't do the prestige of the job justice."