Lennon rules out complacency in SPL title race
Updated Friday, 3rd August 2012
Celtic manager Neil Lennon on Friday put Scottish Premier League clubs on notice that his team will not be complacent, despite being favourites for the title in the absence of long-standing rivals Rangers.
"We pride ourselves on our professionalism and our standards that we have set over the last couple of years and we want to maintain that," the Northern Irishman said before the SPL opener against Aberdeen at Parkhead on Saturday.
"Allied to that, we want to get through the next round in Europe and have a go at European football on top of the domestic league but there will be no complacency," he told reporters.
Rangers, Scotland's most successful club, will be notable absentees this season after financial troubles led them first into administration then liquidation and with new owners unable to persuade the SPL to allow them to remain in the top flight.
That means they will have to start the long fight back from the third-tier and robbing Scottish football of an Old Firm league clash with Celtic for the first time since 1890.
Lennon said Celtic were used to the pressures of being favourites but the title race was in no way easier without their cross-city rivals.
"We are the champions anyway, so people will want to take points off us. It has been that way since I came here," he added.
"People come to Celtic Park and they want to bust a gut and want to prove they can play at the same level as our players and whether we go home or away fans want to see that scalp being taken."
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