Neil Lennon won't get carried away if Celtic knock out Copenhagen

By John Reid

February 19, 2020

Celtic boss Neil Lennon won’t get carried away even if the Hoops defeat Copenhagen in the Europa League and reach the last 16 of a European tournament for the first time since 2013, the Scotsman reports.

The Hoops boss, a veteran of many campaigns in Europe as both a player and a manager, won’t get ‘excited’ about the tournament unless the team reaches the quarter-final of the competition.

“I won’t be jumping through hoops”

“It would be nice to reach the last 16 but I wouldn’t be jumping through hoops about it” he said, as reported by the Scotsman.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon in Rennes / (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

“It’s when you start looking at the quarter-finals that you start to get really excited. But let’s try to negotiate Copenhagen first and take it from there.”

Is this just a case of the Hoops boss bluffing? Perhaps. Surely it would be a fine achievement for the team to make the last 16 of the competition.

After all, no Celtic manager has managed to reach that stage of a European tournament since Lennon led the Hoops to a tie against Juventus in the Champions League in 2013.

Manager may be playing down expectations

It could be just a case of the manager playing down expectations ahead of the tie, which the Hoops might well be considered favourites to progress in.

If that is the case, then it could be considered good management by Lennon. He obviously wants the Hoops players to remain calm.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

After all, the number one priority for the Hoops is still winning the league title. That won’t change no matter who far the team go in the Europa League.

Still, Lennon’s attitude is certainly an interesting one. Only time will tell if he was bluffing, or if he means what he says about reaching the last 16 of the Europa League.