Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes that his side's 3-2 victory over Spartak Moscow in their last UEFA Champions League encounter has prepared the Scottish club well for its upcoming fixture with Barcelona.
The Bhoys came from behind in Moscow with an injury-time winner from Georgios Samaras, which clinched their first away win in the competition in 19 attempts. The 41-year-old coach has claimed that the nature of the victory has set the stage for a strong showing at Camp Nou on Tuesday.
"The performance in Moscow was probably even beyond my expectations," Lennon told The Times. "We've got a lot of young players, and they played very well that night. Tactically, and in terms of the bravery and spirit they showed, they were excellent and that has given us a platform to go to Barcelona.
"I don't think we've got the mentality or the players just to sit in and defend, like Chelsea did against Barcelona. We have to try to create chances, like we did in Moscow. It won't be easy - it's the ultimate challenge for the players and for me, too - but we're going to enjoy it."
The former Leicester City player also stated that the relegation of Rangers from the Scottish top flight, intimating that the lack of Old Firm rivalry, has made his life easier.
"With Rangers not around, the stress levels have diminished a little bit," Lennon said. "But for the whole of Scottish football - for the glamor, the energy, the exposure - it would be better if it hadn't happened."p>Follow GOAL.COM on