Celtic manager Neil Lennon has warned his players that there is 'still a lot to play for' despite recording a 2-0 Champions League playoff first-leg win over Helsingborg last night.
Kris Commons gave Celtic an early lead at the Olympiastadion, with a second-minute volley from a Georgios Samaras cross. Samaras added a second for the Bhoys late on as Fraser Forster thwarted Helsinborg's attempts to come back into the tie.
Lennon refused to get carried away with the result, but is pleased with his team's performance in Sweden. "There is still a lot to play for in the tie as far as I am concerned," Lennon told the press. "I don't think it's over although our home record is very, very good. There was enough there to worry me as Helsingborg were very impressive. But in the end we hit the bar twice and, on the counterattack, we could have put the tie well out of sight."
The Northern Irishman is confident his team can progress to the group stage with a good performance at Celtic Park next Wednesday, but admits he may have to change his team to counter Helsingborg's attacking threat. "We'll set the team up differently and I'd like to think we would be in the ascendancy in the home game," Lennon said. "It's a great result for us to take into the second game. A clean sheet and two away goals was more than I could have asked for really.
"There is still a lot of work to do and 90 minutes still to go. There are a few bumps and bruises in there so we might have a casualty count in the morning," Lennon said last night.
Celtic had to beat HJK Helsinki in the Third Qualifying Round and have already played two league games this season, and Lennon is pleased with his squad. "It's been a really hectic schedule for the players so their efforts tonight are even more remarkable," he said. "They are pretty grounded boys and they know they still have a big night ahead of them. But there's a big prize at the end it for them and you can see what it means for them.
"We might have to weather a bit of a storm at times in the second leg but I'm certain we will have more possession in the home leg than we did tonight."