Neil Lennon: Celtic want to win Europa League group

Neil Lennon insists Celtic will be going all out to finish top of their Europa League section despite having already qualified for the last 32 ahead of the visit of Rennes on Thursday.

The Hoops’ 2-1 win over Lazio in Rome on November 7 kept the Scottish champions top of Group E with 10 points from four matches and guaranteed them European football after Christmas.

The Parkhead side have two group games left, at home to the French side and away at Cluj and they are one point ahead of the Romanian outfit.

Amidst a busy fixture period where his side are fighting a tense Ladbrokes Premiership title battle with Rangers, with an OId Firm Betfred Cup final coming up, Lennon is adamant that their favourable European position will not affect his thinking when it comes to team selection.

The Hoops boss told Celtic’s YouTube channel: “No, we want to win it.

“We want to win the group and try to get maximum points from the home games in Europe.

“The fans crave that, they deserve that and that’s what we will be setting out the team to do.

“If we can finish top of the table before Christmas it will be really advantageous for us going into the second half of the season.”

Lennon praised Celtic’s hunger for goals following the 4-0 win over Livingston at Parkhead on Saturday.

The Hoops were cruising to victory after goals from French striker Odsonne Edouard, a deflected strike by skipper Scott Brown and a volley from winger James Forrest but refused to be content.

Forrest grabbed himself a second in the four added minutes as Celtic racked up their eighth successive win in all competitions since losing to Livi in West Lothian last month.

The former Celtic midfielder said: “To score in the 93rd minute pleases me as well because we keep going and are hungry for goals.

“At the minute, we are in a very good place.

“I was more than happy with that. It was just an outstanding performance from start to finish.

“We could have been a few up at half-time, we were playing so well with great control of the game and great energy.

“Livingston are a tough team to beat.

“We scored a great first goal and I talked to them at half-time and said, ‘can you go out and pour it on in the second half?’ and we did that.

“An all-round great performance.”

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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