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Wednesday, 28 August 2013 00:00

Celtic v Shakhter Karagandy preview: Neil Lennon says Champions League rivals could pay for ‘disrespect’

Hoops boss unhappy with opposite number's pre-match boasts
by Greg Leedham

Football: Neil Lennon has warned Shakhter Karagandy boss Viktor Kumykov that his over-confidence ahead of their Champions League play-off second-leg tie against Celtic at Parkhead on Wednesday night could “come back and bite” him.

The Hoops are 2-0 down from the first game against the Kazakhstan champions and Shakhter’s Russian coach was quoted as saying they would also “score a pair of goals” in Glasgow, although he backtracked later by saying his words had been “misinterpreted.”

Nonetheless the comments prompted Lennon to accuse his opposite number of being “disrespectful” and said that his players are fired up to record to a famous comeback.

“I think it (their confidence) is very dangerous and it can always come back to bite you,” Lennon said.

“This is a two-game tie and it is disrespectful to my team as well. I don’t need to motivate my players for tomorrow night but if they want to keep talking the way they are doing then that’s fine.

“We know we have to win the game by three goals.

“If they score we need to score four, if they score two — according to their manager — then we need to score five.

“Looking at the first game in the cold light of day, there is no doubt that we were the better team and created the better chances.

“We have 90 minutes to score two goals. Regardless, we could score the first goal in the 75th minute or 80th minute and that would still give us 10 or 15 minutes to get another one.

“There is no rush on our part to come out all guns blazing and try to force the early goal. So we will let the game take its natural course, as long as we have control of the game that is the most important thing.”

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