Celtic's Neil Lennon delighted with winning run

Celtic manager Neil Lennon
Lennon was disappointed by Celtic's second-half display at Tannadice

Manager Neil Lennon was pleased to see Celtic extend their Scottish Premier League winning sequence to five matches with a 1-0 success at Tannadice.

"I'm thrilled with the three points, it keeps the run going," he said. "Some of the football was decent but you're always looking for better.

"I was happy with the first half, I thought we were excellent.

"Final third, second half we were poor and that was the difference between us winning the game more comfortably."

Gary Hooper tucked in a neat strike on 12 minutes after a strong opening from Celtic.

The visitors lost their rhythm after the interval but were never threatened by an off-colour Dundee United.

"The early goal gave us a huge lift," explained Lennon.

"Going forward we were very good and we could have been a couple up. But you always need that second goal.

"Second half we weren't as productive in the final third as we could have been. I wanted a little more quality but we were running the ball too much and not moving it quickly enough.

Interview - Celtic manager Neil Lennon

"But I never really saw [Celtic goalkeeper] Fraser Forster in any real trouble."

United deployed a five-man midfield but Beram Kayal and Victor Wanyama formed a formidable barrier in the middle of the park for Celtic, allowing wide men Georgios Samaras and James Forrest to support Hooper and strike partner Anthony Stokes.

"He's sensational, whatever position we put him in," Lennon said of the 20-year-old Kenyan.

"He reads the game very well, he's strong in the tackle. He and Beram Kayal built a platform for us to take the game to Dundee United."

The manager also had praise for central defenders Daniel Majstorovic and Glenn Loovens, who was withdrawn late in the game as a precaution against injury.

"I thought they were excellent," enthused Lennon. "They handled Jon Daly very well.

"To be fair, the two midfield boys gave them plenty of protection."

Scott Brown replaced Loovens on 67 minutes, the day after signing a new contract extension.

And Lennon will not rush his captain back into the starting XI after a lengthy period on the sidelines.

"He was a bit rusty, which is understandable," he said of the midfielder.

"We've got a bounce game on Wednesday, which will give him more game time, and we'll just drip feed him into the team."

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