Boli Bolingoli has revealed that Neil Lennon has demanded a win from Celtic in Romania tonight.
Lenny’s heroes round-off their Europa League campaign with a difficult trip to Cluj. Three points won’t do anything except provide us with further pride and a cool €570k reward from UEFA. The rest of our goals for this group have already been achieved through a tremendous 13-points total.
Of course, only Celtic’s relentlessness has reaped such rewards. The Hoops are on a 12-game winning-run heading into tonight. Regardless of whether some may consider this a glorified friendly, that run will frustratingly snap if we fail to turn up.
However, Boli wasn’t in the mood for handing anything out yesterday. Speaking at the official pre-match press conference via Celtic TV, here’s what he had to say on the manager’s message to the team:
“Every game is important for us. Even though we have already qualified for the next round I think tomorrow is important to win. The coach has told us that and we’re going to do everything to win tomorrow.
“Tomorrow we bring the group mentality into this game. We came here to win and that’s what we’re going to try and do.”
Give Cluj nothing for free
The winning mentality in this Celtic squad is really shining through. This appears to be a group of players who simply don’t do losing football matches, regardless of the situation or context.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that Lenny will be playing his strongest XI. Why should he either? He already confirmed last night that the likes of Craig Gordon, Moritz Bauer, Nir Bitton, Scott Sinclair, and Leigh Griffiths will feature (Celtic TV).
In a way, that could actually be the best thing Lenny does for the team. As well as giving key players a rest ahead of a hectic next couple of weeks domestically, we have players coming in who simply need to perform.
Bauer, Sinclair, and Griffiths, for example, need to start showing why Lennon should keep them in consideration for first-team action. All three may be in different situations, but the need for a positive display is still there.
Tonight is going to be a real test for the fringe men of course. The likes of Ciprian Deac, Mario Rondon, and Billel Omrani will test our side. So we’re going to learn a lot about our second-string this evening in Romania.
But at the same time, Lennon and Boli know about the importance of keeping our winning run going heading into some difficult Premiership matches. Hopefully that shows tonight.