Tuesday 21 November 2017

Lennon wary of Caley threat

Last time Celtic travelled to Inverness -- at the start of April -- a high tide in the Beauly Firth prevented rainfall draining from the waterlogged pitch at Caledonian Stadium, wrirtes Roddy Forsyth.

Tonight's rescheduled fixture against Caley Thistle sees Neil Lennon's players riding their own flood tide, unbeaten in 10 SPL games as they move closer to a possible league and Cup double.

A victory this evening would put Celtic in front of Rangers by two points, having played the same number of fixtures and with only three games remaining -- a huge advantage at this stage of the campaign.

Terry Butcher's team did impede Celtic's progress in unlikely circumstances back in November, when they left Glasgow with a 2-2 draw, but that was during Celtic's one fallow spell of the season, when they took a mere six points from a possible 15.

Consistency of performance usually stems from consistency of approach, as Lennon acknowledged yesterday. "This no different from any other match," he said.

"The premise is to win the game -- if it means we go top, fine, but we need to win.

"It will be very difficult, Inverness is never easy at any stage of the season. Terry will have his team very motivated, as he always does against the Old Firm.

"They've done really well against Rangers and Celtic already this season so it's a dangerous game. We haven't lost to them in eight games but you can come unstuck up there easily. We were 2-0 up at Celtic Park and drew 2-2 -- we threw the game away. I think we're in a better position now because we've got all our big players fit and champing at the bit to play.

"I think hunger is the key thing in any championship-winning team. You have to have the hunger and desire to take on all challenges."

While the ultimate prize is still in the balance, accolades have begun to flow Celtic's way, with Emilio Izaguirre named SPFA Player of the Year on Sunday and again last night at the SPL awards ceremony.

"Since his opening day at Fir Park he's not looked back. He's been a breath of fresh air, brought an extra dimension to the team and defended brilliantly," Lennon said.

"He's played that left-hand side with flair, panache and quality. He's a very humble and hungry boy -- a brilliant boy for not a lot of money." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Inverness CT v Celtic, Live, ESPN, 6.0

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