Neil Lennon not dwelling on the past amid Celtic revival

Neil Lennon
Neil Lennon (PA Wire)
14:31pm, Fri 19 Feb 2021
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Neil Lennon is facing forward only and focusing on Celtic “getting a groove on” for the rest of the season.

The reigning champions have endured a torturous campaign which has seen them knocked out of Europe and the Betfred Cup while slipping way behind Old Firm rivals Rangers in the Scottish Premiership.

Amid continuing disgruntlement among a section of the supporters, the Parkhead club also came in for severe criticism for their mid-season trip to Dubai after which Christopher Jullien’s positive test for Covid-19 forced 13 team-mates into self-isolation, along with Lennon and his assistant John Kennedy.

Celtic subsequently confirmed that a second player, who was already in isolation, returned a positive test and in January they won one game in six.

However, the reigning champions have rallied to win their last five league matches and cut Rangers’ lead at the top to 15 points, although hopes of a 10th successive title are looking unlikely to say the least.

Ahead of the trip to Ross County on Sunday night, the Celtic boss was asked if was tempted to look back and wish things had clicked earlier.

Lennon said: “Don’t let that enter our mind, you can’t dwell on the past.

“You can analyse it at the end of the season or over the piece.

“We are just concentrating on the present really and getting a groove on.

“We saw some players leave in January (Olivier Ntcham, Jeremie Frimpong), we bought in Jonjoe (Kenny, on loan from Everton) who has been exceptionally good and very consistent and obviously we had the fallout from the Dubai trip as well to deal with which, again, we felt was way over the top.

“We are just looking forward to the games now and keeping that winning form going, keep that winning groove and the level of performance going as best we can until the end of the season and see where it takes us.”

John Hughes’ County side are bottom of the table, one point behind Hamilton and Kilmarnock but Lennon is focusing only on his team.

The former Celtic captain, who will assess attacker Mohamed Elyounoussi (knock) and defender Shane Duffy (Achilles) on Saturday, said: “They haven’t played for a couple of weeks and have sort of lost ground on some teams around them so I am sure they will be highly motivated to get some kind of positive result.

“John will try to put his own stamp on things. They had a good season last year and for whatever reason they have struggled to find the same sort of form but we have to look after ourselves and keep our run going and performances at a good level.”

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