Keep dreaming

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers will leave Champions League last-16 dreams to others as he deals in reality.

The Scottish champions responded to a 5-0 defeat by big-spending Paris St Germain in their Group B opener with a stunning 3-0 win against Anderlecht in Brussels on Wednesday night.

It was only the Hoops’ second away win in the tournament and in next month’s double-header they face German giants Bayern Munich, who sacked Carlo Ancelotti this week after losing 3-0 to the French side.

Ahead of the visit of Hibernian on Saturday, the Northern Irishman, who will be without captain Scott Brown and fellow midfielder Stuart Armstrong through injury, was keen to keep it all in context.

“It is very easy for me, I am always aware of what the reality is,” he said.

“We were playing against an Anderlecht team which was probably near-on double our budget.

“So it very easy to look at the reality of where the likes of Bayern Munich and PSG are but it is great for supporters and people to dream.

“I live in the real world with the players and we only focus on our next game.

“If you go to Anderlecht and don’t get the result then you are chasing in the next two games and then it can all come down to the last game.

“For us, it is one win and one loss in what is a really tough group but ultimately the confidence and belief the players have gained from it is huge.”

First, comes the intriguing return of Neil Lennon to Celtic Park as the home side looked to extend their unbeaten domestic run to 58 matches.

The Northern Irishman played for the Parkhead club for seven years and managed them for four before moving to Bolton in 2014, returning to Hibernian last year.

Former Liverpool boss Rodgers thought Lennon – “a brilliant manager” – would have been perfect as boss of Merseyside rivals Everton at one stage.

He said: “It is not an easy job to do but to move from playing to becoming a manager and having the four years here and the success he had, was absolutely magnificent.

“I was at Liverpool when he moved on and Everton were supposedly looking for a manager when David (Moyes) was going to go to Manchester United.

“I felt at that time that a perfect candidate would have been Neil Lennon.

“When you manage Celtic and the expectations here then you can manage any club.

“Without being disrespectful when he went to Bolton, I was a little bit surprised because he is definitely a Premier League manager and has the qualities to manage there.

“It didn’t work out at Bolton but he came up and you can see how he has reinvigorated Hibs.”


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