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Page last updated at 17:55 GMT, Sunday, 26 December 2010

Celtic manager Neil Lennon praises resilient players

Neil Lennon
Lennon's side managed two late goals against St Johnstone for the win

Celtic manager Neil Lennon was relieved that his side managed two late goals in their 2-0 victory against St Johnstone.

Injury-time strikes from Korean duo Ki Sung-Yeung and Cha Du-Ri sealed the win and Lennon expressed his gratitude to the club's fans for their patience.

"We're grateful to Cha and Ki for the goals," said Lennon.

"It's a difficult day for the supporters. I understand their frustrations, but I hope they've gone home happy today."

In the first minute of stoppage time, Cha cut inside after powering down the right wing and blasted past Enckelman with a quality finish to snatch all three points for the hosts.

We just need a bit of composure and quality, which is what was lacking today. But they kept going and played some good stuff - and I can't fault their character.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon

The victory was complete when Ki finished off a fine solo run with a powerful drive, much to the relief of the home fans who had remained for the three minutes of added-on time.

"It was looking like a draw, but you've got to give credit to the players," said Lennon.

"They kept going, although it was a frustrating afternoon.

"We missed a lot of chances, and sometimes some of the football wasn't great.

"Overall, it was a great performance and we got what we deserved in terms of the win.

The victory means Celtic have now put an end to their recent run of home form that produced three draws - and six dropped points - and keeps pressure up on Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premier League table.

"It's not a good performance, it happened against Kilmarnock the other day - we didn't put the chances away," said Lennon.

"That's a concern for me - we're not gambling in the box, we're not getting across people.

"We just need a bit of composure and quality, which is what was lacking today. But they kept going and played some good stuff - and I can't fault their character.

"Maybe with the recent results, there's an anxiety there, but hopefully that'll be the turning point as far as the home form is concerned.

"It's a pretty happy dressing room. It's a win, and it keeps us in touch.

"We have another home game coming up, so that'll lift the spirits of everyone."



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see also
Celtic 2-0 St Johnstone
26 Dec 10 |  Scottish Premier


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