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Lennon: Bond is back with Celtic fans after conquering Rome

Manager felt a strong connection with the fans after beating Lazio in the Europa League.

Neil Lennon salutes the Celtic supporters after beating Lazio.
Neil Lennon salutes the Celtic supporters after beating Lazio. SNS

Neil Lennon believes the bond he had with the Celtic fans during his first spell as manager is back following the club's historic win in Rome.

Goals from James Forrest and Olivier Ntcham earned a sensational 2-1 win away to Lazio, securing Celtic's place in the last 32 of the Europa League with two group games to spare.

It was the first time Celtic had won a competitive match on Italian soil, and Lennon said the travelling supporters more than played their part.

He said: "I have to pay a huge amount of credit to the supporters who were there last night.

"Really for the first time in my second spell here, it felt like the real Celtic again. That love and pride and that sort of rawness from the crowd, the connection with the players in a European tie.

"They helped the team enormously. We were a goal down early and they just kept the noise and the tempo for the players and we sent them home really happy."

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1442229-celtic-beat-lazio-to-reach-knockout-stage-of-europa-league/ | default

Lennon said he understood fans' concerns when he took over from Brendan Rodgers in February, but felt the win in Rome would go a long way to overcoming any lingering doubts.

He said: "With the way I came in, in February, there was a disconnect because of the agitation with Brendan leaving ... and feeling of a disconnect between certain supporters and the club.

"But it was all connected again last night. There was real pride there, it felt like the old days."

He added: "I can understand fans not being too sure after the pedigree of the manager that left and what he'd achieved here.

"There was a lot of uncertainty around myself, but I've a lot of belief in myself, allied with the real good support network behind the scenes.

"You keep calm, have a few dips here and there, but stay strong in what you believe in."

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