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Lennon aims to break Bhoys' 'glass ceiling'

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Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Photo: Action Images via Reuters

Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Photo: Action Images via Reuters

Action Images via Reuters

Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Photo: Action Images via Reuters

Yesterday was the anniversary of Celtic's patch-up job. Deprived abruptly of the services of Brendan Rodgers - whose sudden departure for Leicester incensed a section of the Hoops support who believed that he had regarded his place at Parkhead as a quasi-mystical calling - the Celtic board promptly reached for Neil Lennon, who had been cut adrift by Hibernian.

One year on, the rearrangement of managers has turned out well all round. Who would have bet on the Foxes sitting in third place in the Premier League and in good shape for a European place?

Lennon, who was viewed by many Celtic fans as a stopgap in his return for a second spell in charge, has extended the sequence of seven successive trophies to 10 in a row, with another league title almost in the bag and his players favourites to keep hold of the Scottish Cup.

Then there is Europe, in which arena Celtic will tonight play their 16th match of the campaign at home to Copenhagen, against whom they secured a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Europa League round-of-32 tie.

Lennon, inevitably, was invited to survey the possibility that the class of 2020 could emulate their predecessors of 2003 - of whom he was one - and reach a European final.

"I was once asked if the last 16 of the Champions League is a glass ceiling for Scottish teams and I always think that someday some team will come along and break that ceiling," he said.

"I think that maybe one day a Scottish team will get to another final, a Europa League final anyway.

"I'm hoping that's going to be the case as we build but I just want to get to the last 16."

They will be desperate also to match the feat of their arch rivals after Ryan Kent's winner under the Estadio Municpal's cliff-face yesterday saw Rangers climb into the Europa League's last 16 at the expense of Braga.

Steven Gerrard's team may have stumbled out of the Scottish title race in recent weeks but in Europe they continue to scale new heights after claiming a vital 1-0 win in Portugal, advancing 4-2 on aggregate.

Celtic v FC Copenhagen

Live, VM Sport/BT Sport, 8.0

Telegraph.co.uk