Lennon insists Scottish Cup draw will have no bearing on crucial Champions League clash

The Celtic boss is adamant his side's poor performance against Arbroath at Parkhead will have no bearing on the Hoops' crunch game against Spartak Moscow on Wednesday
Celtic boss Neil Lennon believes his side's shock 1-1 draw against Arbroath in the Scottish Cup fourth round at Celtic Park will not hinder the team whatsoever when they take on Spartak Moscow in their crucial final Champions League group game.

Lennon made nine changes to his side with one eye on their midweek European clash against the Russians, but they found themselves 1-0 up after 35 minutes when a comedy of errors from Arbroath resulted in an Alex Keddie own goal.

The Hoops should have gone on to win the game comfortably after creating an abundance of chances, but they were made to pay for those missed chances when a Steven Doris' free-kick was deflected past stand-in keeper Lukasz Zaluska to earn Arbroath a share of the spoils. Lennon remains upbeat despite the setback.

"I haven't got major problems at all, the only thing is it is another fixture, but we have to end this bogey of not winning at home. It was a good team we put out and that was reflected in the play. We were complacent in front of goal and that's what cost us the win," Lennon told reporters.

"We have missed a hatful of chances to see the game off but we are still in the competition. I wanted to use my squad today and I learned some things about some players. I learned that I can't have a couple of people in the wall because they seem to want to jump out of the way."

"That annoyed me more than anything else, that's where the deflection came from, if they stand their ground that doesn't happen."

Now the SPL champions take on Spartak Moscow at Parkhead, needing to better Benfica's result against Barcelona if they are to progress from Group G to the knock-out stages of the Champions League. In the reverse fixtures, Barcelona overcame Benfica 2-0, while Celtic beat Spartak 3-2 in Moscow to record a memorable victory.

A repeat of those results would see Celtic progress, and while Lennon accepts they will have to play a lot better than they did against Arbroath if they are to defeat the Russian outfit a second time, he is confident his side will respond.

"It will have absolutely no bearing on Wednesday whatsoever," he continued.

"It will be a different team out there, a different opposition, a different atmosphere and a different prize at the end of it so the players will be fully focused and I am hoping to get a different scoreline."

The Hoops have failed to win at home since October 30 when they hammered St. Johnstone 5-0.