Hamilton clash won’t just be Academic, insists Celtic boss Neil Lennon

Celtic boss Neil Lennon is expecting more hassle against Hamilton
Celtic boss Neil Lennon is expecting more hassle against Hamilton
11:49am, Sat 01 Aug 2020
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Celtic boss Neil Lennon anticipates more hassle from Hamilton when they visit Parkhead on Sunday.

The Hoops begin their quest for a 10th successive Scottish Premiership title behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions.

Lennon, who could give new signing Vasilis Barkas his debut in goal following his move from AEK Athens on Thursday, is uncertain how the lack of atmosphere will affect the first competitive game of the season.

However, two close encounters with Brian Rice’s side last season, albeit before a 4-1 win in Lanarkshire, means he goes into the season opener expecting more of the same.

The Northern Irishman said: “They may look at that (there being no fans) as an advantage but they still have to play our team.

“What I expect from Hamilton is good energy: well-drilled, well-organised and well-coached.

“They gave us a couple of really tough games last season.

“We won 1-0 away and scored a late winner at Celtic Park so we are under no illusions, they will come and try to catch us cold.

“So we have to be right on it. We have to be right on it for every game.”

Lennon is looking forward to getting back into competitive action for the first time since Celtic beat St Mirren 5-0 on March 7.

The season was then called off due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the Parkhead side declared champions again as they led Rangers by 13 points with eight fixtures remaining, one fewer than their Old Firm rivals.

The former Celtic captain said: “It is exciting. The anticipation is building now.

“It has been a long time since we have had competitive football.

“We have been back together quite a while, since mid-June so we have done a lot of work.

“It has been a good week so far. Everyone is fit apart from Mikey Johnston so we are excited.”

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