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The 40-year-old was not disappointed with the draw but insisted his joy at the length of his side's run, as the Dons' coach sweats on Fyvie's fitness ahead of next week's cup tie

Celtic manager Neil Lennon refused to blame his players after the 1-1 draw with Aberdeen ended a run of 20 successive victories, suggesting a full schedule caused the poor display.

The SPL leaders took the lead in the first-half, through Anthony Stokes, but the hosts pulled one back just before the break after Gavin Rae's shot beat Fraser Forster, courtesy of huge deflection off debutant Andre Blackman.

The 40-year-old claimed that the scheduling of fixtures was as much a problem for them as Aberdeen's performance was, while he instead decided to look back at his side's impressive run of wins.

He told reporters: "I don't know who scheduled the game but that has certainly not done us any favours. I think that has played as much part as Aberdeen's performance in this run ending.

"The result is no surprise considering the call-offs and the schedules that the players have had this week. It is obvious that they are tired, mentally and physically.

"I'm not overly disappointed, in fact I'm immensely proud of the players for the run they have been on.

"We had no Ki, [Georgios] Samaras, [Emmanuel] Izaguirre, [Efrain] Juarez, and [Adam] Matthews, while Victor Wanyama only arrived back at yesterday morning and came on and did brilliantly for us.

"The draw was totally understandable in the circumstances."

Celtic had not conceded in six games prior to Saturday's clash and the goal that ended that run, Blackman's own goal, was to say the least unlucky. Lennon admitted it was just one of those things.

He added: "I think it is a deflection rather than an own goal. It has deflected and wrong-footed Fraser but these things happen in football.

"It could have been a 25-yarder into the top corner but it's one of those things. Had there not been a deflection, I think Fraser would have covered it comfortably."

The draw saw Aberdeen's own run of games unbeaten grow to 12, their manager, Craig Brown, thought his players did enough to win the match.

He said: "We only got one point so it is moderately pleasing - the better team drew.

"We were desperate to get three points but I suppose when a team comes having won 20 in a row and we get a draw it is satisfactory."