Lennon salutes Celtic strength after Ross County are brushed aside

Neil Lennon hailed a “powerful” performance by Celtic in their 4-1 Ladbrokes Premiership win over Ross County at the Global Energy stadium.

Ryan Christie opened the scoring in the 11th minute when he fired in the rebound after his penalty had been parried back out to him by goalkeeper Nathan Baxter.

County striker Ross Stewart headed in a leveller in the 23rd minute, but Christie restored the visitors’ lead 14 minutes later before midfielder Tom Rogic netted with a deflected drive in the 67th minute. And his replacement Mikey Johnston immediately added a fourth as the champions made it 10 wins in a row since losing to Livingston.

“I’m delighted,” said the Parkhead boss, who is hoping French striker Odsonne Edouard, who missed a second match in a row with a niggle, will be fit for next Sunday’s Betfred Cup final against Rangers at Hampden Park.

“It’s a very powerful performance from us again.

“We started off really well, we hit the woodwork twice on top of scoring four goals.

“It’s been so consistent and powerful (since the Livingston defeat) and we look a real goal threat from a variety of positions.

“Our play in general is very exciting to watch and the fitness of the team is good.

“It could have been easy to come off it today. We did get a little bit sloppy for 10-15 minutes of the first half because we were really in cruise control and we came off it a little bit, but the second-half performance was outstanding.”

Lennon updated his injury situation ahead of next Sunday, albeit Celtic also host Hamilton in the Premiership on Wednesday night.

He said: “It’s just day by day. We’ll see how he (Edouard) is tomorrow.

“He’s been out running today and I think he’s come through that okay.

“Moy (Mohamed Elyounoussi) should be training Wednesday or Thursday so he should have a good chance of making it.

“Boli (Bolingoli) we’re not sure on yet. He might be a doubt.

“Jonny Hayes should be fine and I’m hoping Odsonne will be okay as well.

“He may or may not be fit. We will monitor it day by day.”

County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell branded referee Nick Walsh’s decision to rule out Stewart’s effort in the 82nd minute for offside “a farce”, although there was a suggestion afterwards that the decision was against substitute Brian Graham, who was inactive until he obstructed Hoops defender Christopher Jullien.

Kettlewell said: “I am not going to stand here and say it would have had any reflection on the game.

“It is a tough enough task as it is – to be getting decisions like that wrong is a farce. It is wrong.

“I have never seen an occasion when an offside is given by the referee without a linesman raising his flag to that point.

“The referee blows his whistle and a few seconds later the linesman put up his flag. That’s the wrong way round

“We have to say we wrongly disputed the penalty. The camera angle shown to us didn’t show any clear contact.

“But we are honest enough to apologise to the officials for disputing a decision.

“It is a penalty and we accept that but I can’t accept the last one.

“It could come down to goal difference, we just don’t know.”

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