Celtic boss Lennon warns against complacency ahead of Champions League play-off

The Hoops hold a 2-0 aggregate lead over their Swedish opponents Helsingborgs ahead of the second leg at Celtic Park but the Northern Irishman insists that the tie is not over
Celtic manager Neil Lennon has warned his players against complacency ahead of their Champions League play-off second leg against Helsingborg.

The Hoops are firm favourites to progress after a 2-0 win in the first leg in Sweden, and victory, a draw or a defeat by a solitary goal at Celtic Park on Wednesday night will be enough to see the SPL side qualify for the Champions League group stage for the first time since 2008-09.

However, despite Lennon acknowledging his side are in a favourable position, the Northern Irishman warned his side against taking their Swedish opponents lightly.

30/1 Bet365 offer 30/1 for Gary Hooper to score first but Celtic to draw 1-1 with Helsingborg
He told reporters: "I am sitting here a lot more comfortable than I would be if it was 0-0 or 1-1 or we were chasing the game.

"We are at home but we know the tie is not over yet. I am not getting ahead of myself. We still have to qualify against a very good, motivated Helsingborg team.

"I can't look too far ahead. Football has a funny way of kicking you when you think you have cracked it.

"We have prepared as low-key as we possibly can for this game because we know there is a lot of hype surrounding it and we are trying to protect the players from it.

"Really, we just want to get the game started."

Scotland international defender Charlie Mulgrew echoed his manager’s sentiments and revealed that his side are aiming to play down the magnitude of the fixture in their preparations.

"It is probably the biggest [game of my career]. It is massive for the club and all the players involved but we will be approaching it as just another game," he added. "We know what we have to do and we will concentrate on that.

"We won't get sucked into the hype too much. We know there is still a job to be done and we expect a hard game. Nobody in that dressing room thinks the tie is done, not at all."

"The manager has drilled that home to us that we can't get complacent, it is only half-time and there is a long way to go.

"Of course the mind is wandering, thinking of who you could play but you have to try your best not to do that and to do the job first.

"We are not thinking we are 2-0 up. It will be in the back of our mind somewhere but we have to go out and do the job and try to win the game."