Celtic manager Neil Lennon has hit back at people doubting his team and predicting a Rangers victory ahead of today’s derby, The Scottish Sun reports.
It’s been a big week of build-up, and from some of the coverage, you’d think that the Ibrox side were big favourites heading into the match.
Pundits and journalists have been lining up to talk up their chances despite visiting the home of the reigning nine-in-a-row champions – a team that has won every trophy available in Scotland for four years and counting.
For Lennon, it’s the same old story, and he points out that his team has been written off on many occasions.
As quoted by The Scottish Sun, he said this weekend: “I take no notice of what people predict or what they think the outcome will be, because it doesn’t really matter. They don’t know what is going on or how we’ve prepared for the game.
“I’m delighted if they want to write us off, they’ve done that many times before. We have proved ourselves time and time again.
“It’s just about winning the game. I think it gives you a psychological lift if you can win the first one. But I don’t think it will have a major bearing on the outcome of the season. It’s still too early for that.
“We heard all that chat at the end of December, that we were finished blah blah blah. We came out all guns blazing in the second half of the season.”
There’s no doubt that Rangers have had a strong start to the 2020/21 campaign.
They’re at the top of the Scottish Premiership table and managed to navigate past the likes of Galatasaray to reach the Europa League group stages.
However, it’s easy to forget that they’ve actually dropped more point than us in the league this term. They are only Premiership leaders because they’ve played a game more.
For all the chat about how they are a supreme attacking force, again Celtic have actually scored more top-flight goals so far.
When you add to the equation that the Bhoys have won the opening derby of the season in each of the last four years, it’s hard to see where all this confidence in the Ibrox side is coming from.
I’m not writing them off. Today is a difficult game. But Lennon is right to defend his team and right to feel confident heading into the fixture.
We don’t fear Rangers.