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Lennon eyes Celtic's chance to 'right a wrong' against Cluj

The Celtic boss says his side are in a better place than when the sides last met.

Neil Lennon says Celtic will use their Champions League defeat to Cluj as motivation when the sides meet again on Thursday but wants the players to harness that energy in the right way.

The Romanian side caused an upset in Champions League qualifying when they beat the Scottish title holders 4-3 in Glasgow to dump them out of the competition.

When the sides were paired in the same Europa League group many saw it as an opportunity for revenge and Lennon admitted the previous match would be a factor at Celtic Park this week.

"We know it was a game that got away from us and there is always an opportunity in football maybe to right a wrong, if you want to put it that way," he said.

"Maybe a little bit motivation for the players but the motivation is we have started the group well.

"You can use it as motivation as long as the players don't get too emotional. Use it to play aggressively and play with control.

"We are looking forward to the game. It is the first home game in the group stage and we are very excited about it."

Lennon insisted that the Romanian side were dangerous opponents, pointing out that their win in Glasgow wasn't a fluke and they had shown their value since.

"I think Cluj are a good team," he said. "They've proved that since they played us and were very close to knocking out Slavia.

"Then they got a great result against Lazio."

'I have been delighted with the reaction and style of play and the motivation that the players have. We have good belief about ourselves now.'
Neil Lennon

But the Celtic boss has seen his side unbeaten since that night and making a strong start in domestic competition, as well as taking a draw from their group stage opener against Rennes.

"We are in a better place now maybe than we were then," Lennon said.

"There is a new back four, more or less, a new goalkeeper and we have been on a good run since then, more or less won every game apart from the weekend.

"I have been delighted with the reaction and style of play and the motivation that the players have.

"We have good belief about ourselves now.

"There is decent cohesion and understanding and of course players have got a lot of match rhythm and game time and a familiarity with the way we play."

Though he said that the approach to the game would be no different, with Celtic aiming to impose their game on the opponents and win, he wanted a loud Celtic Park cheering on a team that starts as they mean to go on.

"We need to start much better than we did in the home game," he said. "We did quite well away.

"Our first-half performance (against Cluj) wasn't up to the usual standards so we need to address that."

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