STV Sport sponsored by Papa Johns

Lennon believes Celtic showed real character in Lille draw

The Celtic manager said his side had not lacked confidence ahead of the 2-2 draw.

Lennon believes Celtic showed real character in Lille draw SNS Group

Neil Lennon saw his side draw 2-2 with Lille in the Europa League and said the players showed confidence and character to take a point in France.

Mohamed Elyounoussi scored twice to put the visitors in front but they were pegged back in the second half and had to settle for a draw. Lennon admitted his side could have come away with a win for their efforts but didn’t fault the overall showing against a side sitting level with PSG at the top of Ligue 1.

“There has been nothing wrong with the confidence,” the Celtic manager said. “We felt that we played really well in the second half against AC Milan.

“We then scored three goals away from home last weekend and didn’t get what we deserved. Now we have come away with a positive result here, even though it could have been better.

“I didn’t see too much lack of confidence tonight at all, in fact I thought we were very positive for the majority of the game. We looked a good side.

“I think some of them need to get a little bit fitter but they can only do that by getting more game time into their legs.

“But I’m delighted with the character the team showed tonight.”

Lennon revealed that he’s concerned that Kristoffer Ajer may miss Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final after coming off with a groin strain, but he also took positives from two individual displays.

Scott Bain, back in the team as a replacement for injured Vasilis Barkas, saved a penalty from Jonathan David, while Elyounoussi took plaudits for his goals.

“We felt really aggrieved by the penalty decision but Scott’s made a great save and he had a couple of good saves in the first half,” Lennon said. “Everything he did he handled well.

“And Moi scored two beauties. The first goal is from great pressing from Ajeti and Moi has taken it on and scored a pearler.

“The second one, Jeremie Frimpong showed great composure [to cross] and it’s a great finish. I just wish he had pulled the trigger second half when it opened up for us on the counter attack on two occasions.”

It’s frustrating not to have won but that says a lot when you come here and you’re disappointed not to win.