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Celtic boss Neil Lennon says Champions League hopes are 'not over' despite playoff loss

Celtic boss Neil Lennon says Champions League hopes are 'not over' despite playoff loss

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The Hoops boss is confident that his team has what it takes to overturn a two-goal deficit at home against Kazakh side Shakhter Karagandy in the Champions League playoff

Neil Lennon has declared that Celtic's Uefa Champions League hopes are "not over" after losing 2-0 to Shakhter Karagandy in the first leg of the playoff.

The Scottish Premier League champions were defeated as goals from Andrei Finonchenko and Sergey Khizhnichenko granted victory to the Kazakh outfit at the Astana Arena. However, despite acknowledging that his side should have performed better, Lennon is confident that his team can turn the tie around at Celtic Park.

"It's a disappointing result, but we should have scored and it would have put a different complexion on the tie," Lennon told the BBC. "But we're not down and out yet."

"It's not over," he continued. "We'll go back to Celtic Park and there's plenty there for me to chew on in terms of chances, but Shakhter didn't surprise us with the way they played.

"We knew they would throw balls forward, we should have dealt with the first one a bit better. I don't know how many chances we had - clear-cut ones as well - if you don't take your chances you make life difficult for yourself."

He added: "Possibly, I think I've still got enough in the squad to come through the tie, so that's what we'll endeavour to do."

Celtic host Shakhter Karagandy in the second leg of the Champions League playoff on Wednesday August 28.

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