Celtic manager Neil Lennon took a seriously hard stance when asked about Rangers’ form yesterday.
The Hoops boss was previewing the match between his side and CFR Cluj tonight at Celtic Park. Despite that, however, the inevitable question about Rangers was always going to come up.
The Ibrox club have responded to Celtic’s early-season victories by beating Kilmarnock and Hibernian in their opening two matches respectively. The narrative the reporter was going for was how the dynamics have changed with regards to one team looking at the other’s results.
But Lenny wasn’t playing around at his presser yesterday. Speaking at it via Celtic TV, the Hoops manager wasn’t interested in talking up Rangers.
“I don’t know if it’s a different dynamic. We don’t look at other results – we don’t. Obviously we’ve had a very quick and very hectic schedule so far.
“We’ve got another game tomorrow night, which is a European game by the way. So I’m here to talk about that. We take each game as it comes. We know that we’re on two fronts at the minute, battling away to stay ahead of the game.
“I’m delighted with the two league games and the draw in Cluj.”
Rangers’ form has no relevance ahead of tonight
You can see why Lenny would’ve been irked at this line of questioning. This wasn’t the time or the place to discuss Rangers or how well they’ve started the season.
You can understand the question. Had it been a Premiership game, it would’ve made more sense to approach Lennon with it. But Lenny clearly isn’t entertaining the notion of bigging Rangers up like many others.
As for the question itself, it has some validity to it. There will definitely be more supporters from our side tuning in to see how Steven Gerrard’s team does. Their improvement over the summer will have helped that.
But Celtic remain the benchmark. There isn’t a fear over Rangers like the media want there to be. There may be an increased level of respect for the quality they have in their squad, but we still have better players.
It’s good to see that Lennon isn’t going to pander and just big Rangers up at the media’s request. There are many more important things for the Celtic manager to touch upon than to blow smoke up the Ibrox side.
Cluj takes sole priority over anything else. And it’s clear our manager had his priorities spot on at his presser.