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Lennon bans treble talk for high-flying Bhoys

Neil Lennon has banned his players from talking about a possible Celtic treble this season.

The Hoops are two points clear of Old Firm rivals Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premier League ahead of today's home game against Dundee United.

Lennon's men eased through their Scottish Cup fourth-round tie at Peterhead last week, while they face Falkirk in the League Cup semi-final at Hampden Park at the end of the month.

The Irishman was at Celtic Park yesterday to pick up his Manager of the Month award for December, with midfielder Victor Wanyama collecting his Young Player of the Month award.

Asked if he had instructed his players to leave out all talk of the treble, he replied.

"Absolutely. You know what it's like. The build-up, the build-up and build-up and one bad day and it's gone.

"I have already said the treble is an almost impossible thing to do, so I don't want any talk of that.

"There is no point in talking about it at the minute. The longer it goes on, the more people will ask us the question, but players have to dismiss that and concentrate on the job in hand.

"Teams have taken points off us already this season and anything can happen on any given day.

"So, it is important not to take our eye off the ball and take each games as it comes. I know it is an old cliche, but we can't get too far ahead of ourselves."

Lennon, though, was quick to praise his players when discussing his award.

"It is a testament to the team and the consistency they have shown," he said. "I am pleased with what we have shown and I think there is motivation to keep things going. The confidence is there from winning games.

"I was confident in them (earlier in the season), but for varying reasons we weren't playing well, but I've found that they are more settled now.

"December was a big month but January is a big month as well.

"Dundee United are a dangerous team so we have to keep our focus."

Lennon is still trying to strengthen his squad and revealed that Nigerian midfielder Rabiu Ibrahim (20) and Icelandic winger Ingolfur Sigurdsson (18) will extend their trial period.

Irish Independent