Culture

Neil Lennon blames poor first-half display on Champions League exit

Neil Lennon blames poor first-half display on Champions League exit”

Scott Bain conceded four goals as Celtic were beaten 4-3 by CFR Cluj on the night and 5-4 on aggregate.

Managers live and die by the sword when it comes to their decision-making and Lennon has to accept he made an error with his use of McGregor.

All it did was highlight the absence of Kieran Tierney, following his move to Arsenal, and display a lack of faith in new signing Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo.

The Bhoys were 1-0 down at half time after Cluj struck in the 27th minute, but goals from James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard turned the tie in their favour by just after the hour mark. We weren't physical or aggressive enough and certainly didn't work hard enough to stop crosses, second balls.

"You've got to do the basics well - you've got to stop crosses, close people down, get your head on things - and it was nearly as if we scored and wanted to switch off and control the game".

Portuguese champions Porto threw away their one-goal lead to Krasnodar and conceded three goals at the Estádio do Dragão, eventually being knocked out by the Russian club on away goals.

"But we needed that two-goal cushion".

"The morale in the squad is excellent at the moment and we are playing some nice football, but to go through in Glasgow, it's a miracle we need".

That being said, Celtic should be the favourites, with an away goal in the bank, and the firepower from middle to front, we should see Celtic score a couple of goals. "If we had played anywhere near as well in the first half as we did second half, we would have been through".

Lennon now drop down to the Europa League play-offs where they will face AIK Stockholm or Moldovan side Sheriff with the Swedes 2-1 up ahead of their home leg.

Cluj head coach Dan Petrescu led Unirea Urziceni to a 4-1 win over Rangers at Ibrox in 2009 but declared this win a greater achievement.

"I never expected that".



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