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Lennon: Celtic's 'lack of pizzazz' was understandable

The champions were held at home by Aberdeen on Lennon's Celtic Park homecoming.

Lennon was satisfied with a point from a tough game.
Lennon was satisfied with a point from a tough game. SNS Group

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has said that he understood his players being "a little flat" in their 0-0 draw with Aberdeen, suggesting it may have been a reaction to upheaval at the club.

Lennon was appointed as manager until the end of the season following Brendan Rodgers' abrupt departure last month and has kicked off his second spell in charge with wins at Heart and Hibs. The goalless draw on his return to Celtic Park restored the side's eight point lead at the top of the table and that was satisfying enough for the manager given recent events.

"OK, a little bit flat, a little big leggy, I understand that," he said. "It is natural. You have that adrenaline rush for a couple of days, there is always going to be a bit of a lull afterwards

"They are human beings, not robots, and I understand that, and I again thanked them for their performance.

"It is more psychological than anything else. They lacked that little bit of pizzazz in the final third.

"But we have had three really difficult games to negotiate in 10 days and we have come out of it unscathed, and we will get them together after a couple of days' rest and move forward.

"We take a point, we are still unbeaten (domestically) since the turn of the year.

"I would have loved to win the game and be 10 points clear but you can't have everything and they are giving me everything. You have to give Aberdeen credit as well, they are a tough nut to crack sometimes."

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes thought the result was fair and was happy with his side's efforts in the first of a big Glasgow double-header for his team, who play Rangers in their Scottish Cup replay on Tuesday.

"I actually feel that we were quite relaxed coming into the game," he said. "Before the game everybody speaking about these two games in Glasgow, Celtic Park and Ibrox, and the majority wouldn't have given us much chance. But we actually see it as brilliant games, magic games to be involved in.

"It is an opportunity. When you come up against Rangers and Celtic, who have far bigger resources, far bigger squads to choose from, sometimes you can be stretched.

"But sometimes you have remind yourself that they are brilliant games for your team.

"We had a lot of young players out there today and there will be even more belief going into the next game, if they needed it.

"We have won in Glasgow plenty recently and the intention is to get the club into a semi-final, as difficult a task as it will be."

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