Lennon relaxed despite draw
Neil Lennon remains relaxed despite Celtic passing up on the chance to go back top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League with a 1-1 draw against St Johnstone.
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There was a tangible sense of anti-climax inside Parkhead following the Hoops' historic 2-1 Champions League home win over Barcelona on Wednesday night and even when 18-year-old substitute Tony Watt, on at the break for Miku, put the home side ahead in the 51st minute they still looked listless.
Saints, who had been recently hammered 5-0 in the same venue in the Scottish Communities League Cup quarter-finals, sensed a point was there for the taking and Nigel Hasselbaink levelled in the 76th minute to leave Celtic with two points from the last nine and two behind Hibernian, who won against Dundee United earlier in the day, at the top of the table.
"I have been in worse positions than this," said Lennon, who is looking for Scotland caretaker-boss Billy Stark to leave Kris Commons and Charlie Mulgrew on the sidelines for the friendly against Luxembourg on Wednesday due to the Hoops' punishing current schedule.
"We are two points behind with a game in hand and if we win the game in hand we are top of the league.
"Last year we were 15 points behind. There was a flatness and lethargy but that's the amount of games catching up
"We have played considerably more games than any other team in the league, nine or 10 more and we are only into November.
"After the Champions League group stages are over and we get a month or two of week-to-week football I think you will see the team become consistent and play with more energy."
Saints boss Steve Lomas, who apologised to referee Iain Brines after being sent to the stand in the second half for complaining about his decision to let Watt back on after receiving treatment, praised his side for their battling display.
The Northern Irishman had a special word of thanks for rugged defender Frazer Wright who stayed on despite coughing up blood, a dedication to the cause made all the more significant as stopper David McCracken had to be replaced after six minutes by Gary Miller after suffering a suspected broken cheekbone.
Lomas said: "Frazer Wright took a hefty fall and was coughing up blood but wanted to stay on and that shows you the character of the lad.
"It would have been hard to lose two centre halves."
Wright said: "I started coughing up a bit of blood after I went up with (Georgios) Samaras and ended up on my back.
"I struggled to breathe a bit but I just got through it because Celtic Park is the type of place is where you want to play.
"We had a game plan and stuck to it well."