Neil Lennon praises Celtic’s ‘outstanding’ performance after Hamilton victory



Posted Sunday, December 27, 2020 by PA

Neil Lennon praises Celtic’s ‘outstanding’ performance after Hamilton victory

Neil Lennon welcomed the flamboyance in Celtic’s play as his side’s return to form continued with a 3-0 Premiership win at Hamilton.

Accies were without 10 players through either injury or Covid-19, but on a wet and windy Boxing Day in Lanarkshire, they held the Hoops to a goalless first half.

However, striker Odsonne Edouard scored a penalty he won four minutes after the restart before Leigh Griffiths and David Turnbull added further goals to make it five wins in a row, albeit the William Hill Scottish Cup final win over Hearts was on penalties.

Boss Lennon said: “I thought we were outstanding. We could have had two or three in the first half.

“The attitude and the approach from the players in dreadful conditions on a plastic pitch was outstanding.

“It was the best we have played for a while, the body language of the players was excellent so it was a great day for us and a great three points.

“We are looking a lot more like ourselves. I want us to play well like that.

“I want us to create chances and there was more flamboyance today than there has been for quite a while and more freedom in our play as well.”

Celtic remain 16 points behind Rangers at the top of the Premiership with three games in hand and play Dundee United on Wednesday before a trip to Ibrox on January 2.

Lennon said: “There’s a long way to go. I’m not saying we have turned a corner, but we are starting to do the right things a lot more of the time.

“We are staring to do it better and that comes from attitude, application and confidence.

“There is a lot more zest, a lot more fluency about the way we are playing.

“I am delighted. It could have been a very difficult game but we made it look easy – which it wasn’t.

“There is a lot to be encouraged about but we still have a lot of work to do.”

Hamilton boss Brian Rice was not best pleased by referee Don Robertson’s decision to award Celtic a penalty just after the restart for Accies defender Aaron Martin’s tackle on Edouard.

He said: “It is the season for presents, isn’t it?

“The penalty kick, in my opinion, was very soft. But hey-ho, the referee gives it.

“I don’t think we switched off, I just think it was a soft decision and it changed the game.

“Celtic have that goal lead, they keep the ball a bit better and we found it difficult.

“But we hung in and I can’t fault them. Their effort was magnificent.”

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