Neil Lennon says Joey Barton has put pressure on himself

Neil Lennon insists he would have relished an Old Firm showdown with Joey Barton.

Neil Lennon says he would have relished the chance to face Joey Barton. Picture: Ross Brownlee/SNS

Lennon was not one for taking a backward step during his days in the Celtic midfield and loved the battle with Rangers.

On his arrival in Scotland Barton made a clear attempt to rile Celtic captain Scott Brown. The outspoken Barton said Brown was “not even in my league”.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

However, Lennon believes Barton – who also accused Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers of having a “mid-life crisis” – has simply put himself under pressure with his comments.

Asked how he would have dealt with Barton, Lennon said: “I would have been looking forward to it. I wouldn’t have worried about it, put it that way – and I don’t think Scott will either.

“When you make comments like that, you set yourself up. Barton has to back that up now.

“So he’s put himself under a huge amount of pressure for this game.”