Thursday 14 December 2017

Celtic boss Lennon warns rivals off more beatings after Hibs rout

NEIL Lennon warned the rest of Scottish football that more beatings would be handed out after their 4-1 demolition of Hibernian at Easter Road last night booked their place in the semi-finals of the Scottish Communities League Cup.

The Hoops boss had stated recently that he believed his side were ready to thrash someone, although that looked unlikely after just four minutes when an unfortunate own goal by defender Daniel Majstorovic gave the home side the interval lead.

However, helped by on-form youngster James Forrest, Celtic stormed back after the break.

A double from the Scotland international and goals from Anthony Stokes and Gary Hooper put the Parkhead men in the hat alongside Kilmarnock and First Division clubs, Ayr United and Falkirk.

"I think there are more beatings to come," said Lennon afterwards.

"I think there is more to come from this team.

"We have a few long-term injuries although Kris Commons and Georgios Samaras aren't far away.

"At the minute we are a bit stretched but the core of players who have played the last few weeks have been exceptional.

"The second half was the best we have played in a while.

"I have been asking for that performance for a while and I was delighted with result."

Lennon was also pleased to reveal that striker Mohamed Bangura, who has missed the last two matches with a knee problem, would not need surgery as first feared.

"There is good news on Bangura which is a bonus," said the Irishman.

"Hopefully he will only be out for a couple of weeks.

"The specialist didn't think he required surgery so he has been put on a programme for the next couple of weeks and hopefully that will settle things down."

After getting off to such a good start, Hibs collapsed after the break and their winger Ivan Sproule, whose shot had cannoned off Majstorovic for the goal, was sent off by referee Willie Collum in the 71st minute after picking up the second of two yellow cards for a foul on Mark Wilson.

Colin Calderwood's side travel to Parkhead on SPL duty in an instant rematch on Saturday and he is looking for his side to recover quickly.

"It something we have to accept, get over and rebound from," he said.

"We have to go back to work now. It is always a good game (at Celtic) and everyone will look forward to it."

Irish Independent Sport Star Awards

Pick our magic sports moment of the year and win a trip for two to London. To view the shortlist and cast your vote click here.

Press Association

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport