Neil Lennon says 9-in-a-row for Celtic is still ‘a million miles’ away

Neil Lennon insists retaining the Premiership title is still “a million miles” away for Celtic despite increasing their lead at the top of the table to 12 points.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon with Odsonne Edouard. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Celtic manager Neil Lennon with Odsonne Edouard. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

While their Old Firm rivals Rangers slipped up yet again with a 2-2 draw against St Johnstone, the champions came from behind to beat Kilmarnock 3-1 at Celtic Park.

It was a tenth straight domestic victory for Lennon’s side since their return from a winter break they went into on the back of their home defeat by Rangers at the end of December.

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Although the Ibrox side still have a game in hand, the outcome of the title race now looks all but a foregone conclusion as Celtic move relentlessly towards a record-equalling ninth consecutive domestic crown.

But Lennon pointedly swatted away questions on how much closer his team are to crossing the finishing line. “Don’t ask me,” said the Celtic manager.

“I don’t want to talk about titles. I just want to talk about the game.

“The title is a million miles away as far as we are concerned. We just want to concentrate on our own affairs.

“Since the turn of the year, we have been magnificent. The fact we have won ten domestic games says my team is very good. I don’t want to keep going on about mentality and stuff but we have some outstanding footballers. There was a lot of good football today and the guys deserve a lot of credit.”

Having trailed to Eamonn Brophy’s sixth-minute penalty, which Lennon felt should have been disallowed for offside in the build-up, Celtic hit back with goals from Kristoffer Ajer and Odsonne Edouard before half-time, with Leigh Griffiths adding the third in the second half.

“We played very well today, first of all from a sense of injustice from losing the goal,” added Lennon. “There was a real controlled aggression after that. In the second half, some of our football was simply irresistible at times. It’s been a good day for us.”

Celtic achieved the victory without the injured trio of captain Scott Brown, his fellow midfielder Olivier Ntcham and winger James Forrest.

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Forrest is expected to be available for the second leg of the Europa League last-32 tie against Copenhagen at Celtic Park on Thursday night but doubt remains over when Brown and Ntcham will be able to return to action.

“James should be fine,” said Lennon, “but we’ll just have to wait and see how the other two are.”